A horrible hack


Mass Nerder

Year Released: 1998
Format: ?
Label: Epitaph
Reviewed by Ian Cavell on Jun 13, 2007
Yet another American punk band graces the pages of Collective. Anyone would think we actually liked this kind of thing...

Ok, this is the deal - you get a punk band that not only swaps lead singers left, right and centre but also used to be called something completely different. They used to have a lead singer called Milo Aukerman. They used to be called the Descendents. In 1996 they released an album called 'Everything Sucks'. That was excellent, but 'Mass Nerder' is better in almost every way.

'Mass Nerder' is 18 tracks of punk brilliance worthy of space in anybody's collection. This isn't some random guitar noise with bloke shouting over the top. This is punk that has looked up the word 'tune' in a dictionary and in writing the lyrics have really dug deep for inspiration. And as for the music?

Album opener 'World's On Heroin' is not exactly the most PC song you'll ever hear with it's "I'd prefer everyone was on Speed" lyrics. An inconspicious start to say the least because compared to what's in store it's decidedly average.

All succeed where others have fallen by mixing together a nice blend of different styles. The quick-fire pure-punk salvo's of 'Greedy' and 'Life On The Road' square up perfectly alongside the 30 Amp Fuse punk-pop of 'I'll Get There' and 'Fairweather Friend'. 'Honey Peeps', especially, with it's choppy guitars and incessant drums is the song China Drum never wrote. 'Until I Say So' is magnificently simple which is why it works so well. One of several songs on 'Mass Nerder' that are instantly memorable, instantly special and wondrously addictive.

There are best tracks on an album and there is 'Romantic Junkie'. Anthemic punk with it's terrace style vocals and the cool line 'shit your pants through your mama's cash'. It's just a bit good.

It doesn't stop there. 'Vida Blue' has enough tune and, erm, restraint for radio acceptance while 'Until Then' and 'Good As My Word' pretty much sum up what All do best. Short but touching songs alongside great melodies and intermingled with a memorable chorus. It's a winning formula as far as this album is concerned.

'All In All' is the clincher though. They're really isn't enough superlatives to describe just how emotionally uplifting 'All In All' is. Take my word for it, you'll be listening to this album all day, every day.

If I hear an album to better 'Mass Nerder' before the years out then I'll naturally eat humble pie, but

(a) The Wildhearts have split up

(b) Honeycrack have split up

(c) 'A' are still messing about with 'How Ace...".

(d) Joyrider have no record deal

There's your proof, now go and buy.

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