Home Read Classic Album Review: Nicotine | Desperado

Classic Album Review: Nicotine | Desperado

The Japanese ska-punk outfit's irrepressible spirit makes up for their linguistic fails.


This came out in 2001 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):


The first thing you notice about this Japanese ska-punk outfit is that they sing in English. The next thing you notice is that their English isn’t nearly as good as they seem to think it is — unless lyrics like, “Let me blue / Let me blue / I’m full excited!” and “My brother seems to go to school today / A circumstantial account is put in the end” mean more to you than they do to me.

Luckily, Nicotine’s music loses nothing in the translation. Desperado holds 14 tracks of hyperspeed pop as fizzy as a shaken soda and as catchy as a February cold. Anchored by sprinting drums and chiming guitar riffs, topped by spot-on Blink-182 harmonies and fueled by a hefty dose of Offspring-style skate-goofiness, this 35-minute CD’s irrepressible spirit more than makes up for any linguistic failings. Extra points for two killer covers: A Caribbean-flavoured version of Culture Club’s Medal Song and a frenzied take of Bryan AdamsKids Wanna Rock. You’ll be full excited!