The Bar Feeders
50 Ways to Leave Your Liver
Attention Deficit Disorder
Boy, these guys sound more like the Offspring than the Offspring do! Fast and furious, there are lyrics buried under the rapid-fire guitars and drums, lyrics worth digging out the CD’s insert to read while listening. Topics are the standard hard living, underpaid, Band-in-a-Van stuff, but entertaining nonetheless. Opening the album is “Sally,” an ode to a girl who exists somewhere between groupie and band slut. She’s always hanging around, sometimes back stage and sometimes up front flirting up the audience. When you’re 16 you want a girl just like Sally. But when you’re 23, you wouldn’t touch her. I guess that’s called “Maturity,” and sometimes you find it in the oddest places.
Other noteworthy ballads include “Free Beer for The Bar Feeders,” “Chinese Chicken” and “Road Tripping.” All are guaranteed to get you banging your head and wonder, “What did he just sing?” There’s even a softer side to this west coast trio. It first appears on the relaxed “Quaaludes,” which extols the virtue of downers and cheap wine. This gentler tone reappears again a few cuts later on “Creepin’ Around,” but waits until the last cut “Tackle (A Punk Is Born)” to really flower. “Tackle” talks about the small guy trying out for the high school football team. When he doesn’t make it, the team beats him up and drives him over to the punk side of life. It’s amazingly touching for a band who just sang, “You can never find a toilet when you want to puke.” I love these guys. They can be noisy, snotty and maudlin all at once, and they can actually play multiple chords, distinct notes and stay on key, at least in the studio. Think of this as the classy side of 21st century punk.