Side One Dummy
Pop-punk didn’t always suck: Its original marriage of pop hooks and punk energy was supposed to be revelatory, and when the Buzzcocks, the Jam, and the Undertones reigned supreme, it certainly was. But when rollerblading culture inevitably infiltrated the then-dormant scene in the early ’90s, the pop became poop and the punk just plain stunk. Still, it doesn’t have to be that way, and 22 Jacks’ Going North provides ample evidence. Giving major nods to the Undertones (“Another Day,” “The Eleventh Hour”) and Elvis Costello (“To Much Time,” the skanking “Medicated”), and slightly-less ones to the Jam (“Slipping Down”) and the Buzzcocks (“All I Can Do”), 22 Jacks puts together a cornucopia of the finest pop-punk has ever had to offer and decides to call it an album. Undeniably American and as fresh as it is derivative, Going North nonetheless spits back what the present has sucked out of pop-punk’s past.
Side 1 Recordings, 6201 Sunset Blvd., Suite 211, Hollywood, CA 90028; http://www.side1.com