SHOT MY TV - Skinny Bones & The Gonedaddys (Nicotine Records)
If you listen to a variety of music you begin to notice that all genres (and sub genres) have their own merits and downfalls. Sometimes the differences vary by genre.
For example, a short-winded hardcore punk album would probably not be criticized for pretentious, winding masturbation like a jazz album may be accused of. However, these two genres could also sometimes be accused of something similar, such as all the songs sounding the same and using little variation. This is also shown in the likeability of a genre, as well. If one is a pop rock fan you probably want hooks or catchiness in both choruses and melodies. To further generalize, a punk rock fan probably listens to their genre to feel an adrenaline rush. Furthermore, when you have a combination of the two both positives and problems arise.
A punk-pop band that is too poppy may wind up feeling forced and even annoying in their hookier elements. The same type of band that plays this style instead may feel a little slack in aggression. With that said these elements can always mold to a better effect, as well. The poppier elements can pull you in and make a song memorable, just like a good hook is supposed to do, while the punky adrenaline can still make you want to play air guitar and jump around the room. Some of the best punk music made with a pop element was ironically made in the first wave of punk, a time when it was made up of 3 chords or so, but not to the oversimplified point of D.I.Y..
Skinny Bones & The Gonedaddys may not act in any way as transcendent, but they aptly remind one of the first era punks at their best. At the worst, they remind one why that style also got a little recycled and oversaturated.
The '70s element is present probably due to their vocal/guitarist (simply known as Skinny Bones) being involved with some songwriting and side projects of The Ramones since 1978, according the Nicotine Records Website. It is also shown in the just-the-basics mode of their presentation, as well.
As "Shot My TV" is an album that is bent in the poppier side of punk more than anything else. It may have a number of punk elements including Skinny’s scruffy vocal work, slightly speedy instrumentals, thin production, and the occasional curse word, but it is primarily good natured: as in not with an anti-social feeling or even rabble-rousing sensibility in the way some punk acts adore.
Tunes such as the opener, “The Shakes” and ‘Shes Working Me Over” also reminds one of Cheap Trick, without the instrumental acrobatics. The best songs on the album are the seventh and eight tracks (out of the thirteen) “Luv Me Like Darth Vadar” and “I Wanna Pet Cats For A Living:“ they feature the good-humored sensibility that The Queers do at their best: both funny and with hooks that work even if they feel that bit forced.
The other nine songs are either average, or just below. The humor and the prettiness in melody is not there like it is in the best tracks in the album. These songs are just forgettable, and drive the speed of the record down a bit, making it feel more like slavish imitation, than spirited hero worship.
Since at its core Skinny Bones & The Gonedaddy’s music is meant to get the melody across the music may seem basic, even wimpy. There also are no real songs that takes the genre anywhere, and the album is merely escapism. Now art may be pleasure but at the same time it should not be only about that. Shot My TV at its best is enjoyable, if still rote. The rest of the record is mediocre and makes one wish there were more meat on its figurative bones. - Nick Schwab
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