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Classic Album Review: Me First & the Gimme Gimmes | Blow in the Wind

The all-star punk cover band show off their impressively high standards again.

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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):

 


If punk rock is about non-conformity, how come every punk band plays cover tunes exactly the same? They take a classic song, strip it to the bone and crank it out as fast (and ironically poppy) as humanly possible. Yawn.

There’s only one punk outfit that brings something new to the karaoke party, and that’s Me First & the Gimme Gimmes, an all-star cover band featuring members of Swingin’ Utters, Lagwagon and No Use For a Name. These guys not only make cover tunes their entire franchise; on this stellar third album, they make it their mission to go one step beyond the stereotypical. Cases in point: Their turbo-charged arrangement of The Beach BoysSloop John B is crossed with The RamonesTeenage Lobotomy, their version of The TurtlesElenore draws on The Clash’s London Calling, and their caffeinated revamp of The BeatlesAll My Lovin’ swings to the beat of The Dickies’ You Drive Me Ape (You Big Gorilla). Toss in equally original reworkings of Bob Dylan (Blowin’ in the Wind), Cat Stevens (Wild World) and even Tammy Wynette (Stand by Your Man) and you’ve got a punk band with some impressively high standards.