I’m not a very religious man, but I do believe in personal Hells — places where everything is tailor-made to drive you closer and closer to brink of insanity. Friends, I have heard the soundtrack to my own personal Hell and it is Toothpaste 2000’s Catch-22 playing on a continuous loop. For the most part, it’s the inane lyrics that make the album insufferable. Take, for example, the worst offender, “Count Choc-o-lot,” with this opening verse: “You’re totally hot / I need what you’ve got / You’ve got quite a lot / Let’s go to your place / I’m Count Choc-o-lot.” It’s like injecting a mixture of bleach and corn syrup directly into my brain.
Giant, perfectly-recorded power-pop riffs do little to alleviate my pain. Granted, power-pop has never been one of my favorite rock ‘n’ roll subsets, but there’s something almost too self-referential, over-earnest and definitely too long (twenty-two songs, fifty-five minutes) about Catch-22‘s slavish devotion to The Melody. Nope, this one’s going to the record store to hopefully find its way into the hands of someone who will actually like/tolerate it. I’ll just stick to very occasional spins of my Big Star album. That’ll be enough sugar for me thanks — and, no, I won’t be brushing with you afterwards.