Release Date: 05.08.01
Record label: Pinch Hit Records
Genre(s): Movies, Film Scores, Musicals, Etc.
by: terry sawyer
Punchy make jolty pop rock with not a few recurring snatches of Texas (heavy drinking, rednecks, dogs, and executions). Yet to their credit, they don't fall in the rut of making half-assed country music. Instead, Punchy seem intent on making your basic rock and roll album.
Trouble is, your basic alt-rock outings have the tendency to sound painfully uncommitted. To this day, I confuse Sugar Ray and Smash Mouth. I've just never needed to tell them apart. Punchy have a little bit more integrity than that, but the overall effect is the same. "Just My Type" actually stands out above the track pack, for the most part, because it sounds like a snarly nod to Cheap Trick. "Needle Exchange" also deserves props for its gritty, stark portrait of methadone living. Many of the other songs sound like wounded b-sides of other college rockers. "Standing On Legs of Lead", though sort of interesting for it's story of a disabled, jaded lover, plods along and sounds like Verve Pipe with a shot of whiskey. "Only Words Are Left" reprises their standard mid-tempo riffage and cemented my impression that, despite the earnestness, Just My Type is doomed by imprecision and indecision.
They've been lucky to score some fairly lofty comparisons (The Replacements, Elvis Costello, Wilco) I see no need for the hard-to-swallow reach. For my drachma, they're a lot more like the Goo Goo Dolls or Soul Asylum. It's just the kind of college town pub pop you'd expect to stumble onto during a finals pint break. The only thing missing is a song called "Tip Jar." 09-Oct-2002 8:00 AM