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Army of Freshmen - Beg, Borrow, Steal

33rd Street Records

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Ok, I've tried to keep this site as metal as possible, but I've had lots of stuff sent in lately that doesn't even come close to qualifying.  I guess I'm too nice of a guy to say no to reviewing this stuff.  Well, I'm gonna be nice for now (sorta), but in the future I'm gonna tighten the reigns a little.  I realize bands and labels spend their money to send stuff to zines and I appreciate it.  But you should make sure you know what kind of zine you send it to before mailing it.

Anyways...what we have here is a band called Army of Freshmen.  By the kiddie-looking cover of a tree house on fire you can almost guess what kind of music this will be.  And yes, you guessed right.  Good ol' pop punk.  Now, I used to be a crazy pop punk fan in my teenage days.  Nothing like popping in a MxPx record back in the day.  Well, those days are over.  While I don't despise pop punk (heck, it's better than country), it's not something I pursue listening to at all.  I haven't touched my MxPx records in years.  Now, my wife is still a pop punk fan, but Mr. Metal here has moved on for good.

This disc kinda reminds me of MxPx in a way, with a dose of Joy Electric due to the heavy use of keyboards.  So...mix the catchiness of MxPx, the keyboards of Joy Electric, and maybe the attitude of Squad Five-O and you've got Army of Freshmen.  I actually put this on the living room stereo to give it a loud listen and my kids (girls...ages 6 and 4) loved it.  They had huge smiles and danced around the room with joy.  So in that sense, I can enjoy this record.  Other than that, I have to stay clear.  Yes, the songs are hugely catchy, but geeky as well.

The lyrics are extremely cheesy.  Topics range from burned down tree houses, gang signs, girls, MTV, instant messenger, etc...  There may be deeper meanings, but I really had no interest to look below the surface here.  Couple that with some uses of the word "sh*t" and b*tch and you have a lyrical performance that left a lot to be desired.

Apparently, this band is becoming huge in the pop punk scene.  They will be playing the Warped Tour this year and they are sporting a very large and growing fan base.  Congrats to them for making it big, however, they will have to continue to do so without me...and I'm guessing, most of the readers of this zine.  (Review by Matt)

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