REVIEW – BAD SPORTS - KINGS OF THE WEEKEND CD (Dirtnap, Portland)
Wow. I realize now why so many of my friends are on the BAD SPORTS train; this shit’s a party. Those same friends (who are more well-versed than I am in powerpop and all that) would be able to describe this better than I can, but – to me – this is kinda like a mix of the moronic genius of THE RAMONES and the epicly damaging punk ‘n’ roll of TURBONEGRO and the melody and guitar solos of CHUCK BERRY. I’m pretty damn sure CHEAP TRICK and BIG STAR are in the mix, too, but that’s getting a little outta my element.
I don’t see how a band could rip harder than this without being so damn catchy, or be any catchier without sacrificing some ripping. These three Denton, Texas dudes are walking a pretty tricky line, but they walk it well, and they walk it relentlessly.
Tracks like 'Off Switch’ (the opener) just dig in and cut through everything with tuff-ass guitar hooks (the kind that, when you come up with it, you know you don’t even need to write a chorus, you can just keep riding that one awesome riff, maybe dub it over itself if you wanna make people go TOTALLY apeshit), then tracks like 'Teenage Girls’ offer a poppy slow burn, almost on a '50s kick. Then the album’s other 12 tracks try mixing those two styles at various ratios, all of which result in awesome.
This shit rules. NOT SHITTY
A review of the album’s artwork: It’s an awesome painting (by Eva Aldridge) of the dudes hanging out in front of a garage door. What a rad place to hang out, guys! NOT SHITTY
Let’s be fair, for a second. If ¾ of the Exploding Hearts hadn’t died in a tragic van accident nine years ago, and had instead just broken up, no one in 2012 would give a shit about them. They’d be another decent early Dirtnap Records band that came East once, then quietly went their way into relative obscurity. They’d fill a nice place in your 7" collection between the Exploder and the Eyes.
But because they went away too early, via car crash, you think of what could have been. You fetishize them. You bid up their demo tape on eBay, then flip it 6 months later for a 30% profit. You screen a bootleg t-shirt for yourself in your basement, then sneer when some kid at a show asks you about it. You have another fucking band to lord over the world at large.