so long, astoria
Music journalists, radio DJs and fans all use the “punk” tag to describe The Ataris. Their major-label debut, so long, astoria, has been compared to Good Charlotte and New Found Glory. But these comparisons are buzz-kill for me, since I’m not a fan of either band. I’ve wanted to like so long, astoria, though. I’ve listened and listened and listened…and each time, I dislike it more and more and more. Some of it may have been my own fault. I generally don’t give an album much credit before the first listen.
First, I’m not sure how anyone could possibly use the word “punk” to describe so long, astoria. Surely they’ve missed the point, as this is pop-rock at best. The first track, “so long, astoria,” is a derivative rock song that belongs on a Matchbox 20 outtake album, and it only gets worse. “The Saddest Song” and “Unopened Letter to the World” are sentimental drivel. The rest of the album is formulaic, offering nothing to further rock, or punk, or any other label you’d like to use. Take for instance the Don Henley cover, “The Boys of Summer.” Apart from a couple of chord progressions, it is an exact tablature version, simply sped up.
Leave this record on the shelf. When it invariably hits the used bins, don’t buy it.