Release Date: 04.01.03
Record label: Arista
Genre(s): Movies, Film Scores, Musicals, Etc.
Punk Rebels Really Should be Original
by: paul schrodt
Isn't it in the nature of any angry rebel to send a new message to people? GOB whines, sometimes even about other whiners, and the contradiction makes everything catchy about their album just tiresome. They borrow the same old musical formula from other successful punk bands reaching back to the '80s, from Offspring to Green Day to Sum 41. The heated attitude and dirty socks they sport are a witless attempt in an album full of witless attempts.
Kicking off the album are pop-punk songs like "I've Been Up These Steps" and "Oh! Ellin," with a lot of the guitar licks and vocal sequences matching many other artists currently working–yes, that's why it's a cheat instead of homage. It's not a surprise then that the songs were produced by Mark Trombino, also orchestrating the success of Blink 182 and Jimmy Eat World. He has a flare for what people will bob their heads to, but these Gobsters should cultivate their talent into creativity with a little more effort and a lot more courage.
Exciting lyrics can do a lot, but Gob doesn't recover with interesting words to contrast everything else. Their lyrics are simple and they often reword the same message sentence after sentence for the sake of carrying on for a short but thankful three minutes. Even worse, the choruses are almost always anything but memorable ("Oh! Ellin what can I do? / There is nothing aside from you / Oh! Ellin what can I lose?").
On a more positive note, there are small moments when Theo and Tom's singing is nearly authentic. In "I Hear You Calling," the vocals are almost charming, in a punk cliché sort of way. Theo has charisma, and when blasting out together, the bandleader duo has an emotional power (granted, of course, that one blocks out the words they're singing).
In the end, these Canadian punks haven't much of a leg, or "foot," to stand on. Their material is recycled; they keep it safe and the songs get radio airplay. They have become quite successful in their native country and Arista is definitely pushing their album. But at their current state, Gob will never be remembered, neither as a one-hit wonder nor as a daring band. Their lyrics don't have the energy to be Blink 182 and their music is too worn to be truly noticed. 03-May-2003 7:46 PM