|The Vandals - Internet Dating Super Studs|
|Music Disc Reviews Audio CD|
|Written by Bryan Dailey|
|Tuesday, 17 September 2002|
I like to think I’m pretty open-minded when it comes to music but it’s rare for me to make it through more than 10 minutes of the average punk CD. The fact is that there is a lot of bad punk music out there. It’s easy to get a couple friends together, learn three chords and jam away in the garage. Due to this fact, there are many really bad punk bands in the world. One punk band that doesn’t suck is the Vandals. With some of the funniest songs in the genre and the ability to make them all sound different, Internet Dating Super Studs is one of the best punk albums I can remember listening to in years.
Thirteen-year-old kids will love the Vandals’ immature, toilet humor lyrics. They aren’t so offensive as to earn the album an explicit lyrics rating, but are edgy enough you’d best not play the album in the car with mom. One song that really might shock moms around the world is “Soccer Mom.” With a melodic hook that sounds like a Weezer song, the song tells about a kid’s crush on the hot mom at the soccer field. The Vandals actually make a MILF reference (those of you who have seen “American Pie” will know exactly what they are talking about).
Other hilarious songs include “Disproportioned Head,” and “We’ll All Get Laid.” One of these songs could catch on in the right radio market and turn into a novelty hit a la Green Jelly’s “Three Little Pigs,” but don’t count on it. Music like this doesn’t usually make waves on MTV or the radio.
Most punk records lose me with songs that all sound the same and have the same melodies and chord progressions, but the Vandals are talented songwriters who mix things up well. I was actually able to remember what all the songs sounded like after one listen, something that is difficult to do with most punk albums.
The Vandals go ‘50s doo-wop on “Where’s Your Dignity” as they offer relationship advice to a fictional young man who lost his girl and is feeling down in the dumps. “Lord of the Dance” starts off with the footsteps of dancers from the Michael Flatley musical of the same name before kicking into pure punk rock as they sing an ode to Flatley, heralding him as the next messiah for creating the musical “Riverdance.” It’s so kooky and random that it’s hilarious.
The Vandals have been making music together for 20 years and have some real-world, good advice for the young punks out there, offering words on inspiration on “When I Say You I Mean Me.” Lead singer Dave Quackenbush teaches the kids it actually isn_t cool so waste your life being a slacker as he signs “For every dream you keep inside, another part of you has died.” Despite their goofy lyrics and punk attitude, it’s refreshing to hear the band trying to be a positive influence on the impressionable kids out there.
The Vandals are also environmentalists, something you wouldn’t normally associate with punk bands. They sing of the raping and pillaging of our oceans by commercial fishermen on “The Unseen Tears of the Albacore.”
Keeping with the title of the album, The Vandals are making this album a truly interactive experience. The band put on a contest to win a blind date with each of the band’s members. Now that the contest is over, they are creating an online dating area to help their fans hook up with each other. Vandals fans can meet each other, go on dates and if the conversation gets stale, the couples will at least be able to talk about the Vandals, a sure icebreaker.
Forget The Offspring and Green Day. They are all sellouts. The Vandals’ Internet Dating Super Studs is the only punk album you need this year.