After The Fall
Epitaph must be one of the most uneven labels ever, they keep on going between the brilliant releases and the simply dumb ones. This one, unfortunately, falls into the latter category. One thing is 98 Mute’s hippiefied lyrics, taking the John Lennon approach when he was at his most annoying and preachy. However, I could live with that if the music was at all passable, in the same way that one tolerates John’s “The Word,” even if the words are nothing short of ridiculous. The really bad thing about 98 Mute, see, is how generic and derivative their music and their sound is. They really want to be The Offspring in their heyday, but fail miserably — much like The Offspring themselves these days. This is punk designed to offend no one, and so it’s not punk at all, is it? The choruses aim for the stadiums, being a bit anthem-ish and having everyone singing along and a lot of “ooohh!”s and stuff like that. And so it’s a bit embarrassing when they’re not at all that sing-along worthy, but rather third-rate Blink-182 throwaways, which isn’t very good. 98 Mute haven’t gone and made the positive, uplifting punk album they’re obviously trying after, but have instead followed their own tradition of releasing yet another batch of pretty mediocre (I’m being nice) tracks. A missed opportunity.
Epitaph Records: http://www.epitaph.com