A horrible hack

Big Drill Car

A Never Ending Endeavour

Year Released: 2009
Format: CD
Label: Boss Tuneage
Reviewed by Samuel Fowler on Dec 19, 2009
Being in playschool was power-rad. If your parents liked you, they'd send you to a good group, that had toys like those huge chunky dice with different words on each facing. I can picture some member of the 'Drill turfing up some of these in the attic, getting all excited and sitting around with the rest of the band coming up with a name.. Lollipop Sheep Fireman? What about Train Bacon? Big Drill Car? Yeah! We Got it! Frickity Yes.

I remember liking the 'Car back in my Pinhead Gunpowder days. You know, back when Lookout records could be relied upon to churn out the hits before the era where they decided to rip bands off and not pay Greenday their royalties. And as such I was apprehensive about the first new material in (18?!) years. It comes as no shock to me that with 20 tracks up on offer, this disc is a bit like a musical paella of sorts. When the 'Drill are on form they are off the chains... the snottiest songs I've heard this side of Moral Crux with plenty of sharp turns and a raging guitar tone. The opener “Hospital Song” sets the tone with a sub minute blast leading into the choppier “Latch Key”. But just like every sketchy paella this disc has its fair share of tentacles and distressing wobbly blobs in shells to make the stomach go a little queasy around the edges. It all gets a bit distressingly MOR in places, and at least 1 song sounds like a bad copy of some crappy Nirvana song I forgot. Pop punk has moved on (albeit barely) in the intervening decade or two, and what might have been fresh in 1994 has now been rehashed and skrulched together endlessly. Is this a fair charge to level at Big Drill Car? Being as they had a hand in the sound in the first place probably not. But then these are “new” songs so maybe some form of progression wouldn't have been too much to expect.

I truly don't understand why every pop-punk band decides that when they release a new LP it's SUCH a fantastic idea to put absolutely every song they recorded in the intervening period. I'm thinking of things like Screeching Weasels ridiculously ill advised 57 track CD here. Shave off 8 or 9 tracks from “A Never Ending Endeavor” and it would have totally smoked. But with the added weight of at least 4 songs that flop around like an eel out of water, it merely embers and flickers around the edges a little.

In an era where I don't need more than the fingers on two of my hands to count the number of pop punk bands I'd actually dig out of my CD rack, Big Drill Car show they still have plenty to say when they try, and definitely call one of those fingers their own. Not like a middle finger or anything like that, more like a forefinger pointing squarely at all the boring Queers clones in a “Get to fuck and come up with some original songs you shit-weasels” sort of way.

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