Wednesday, August 20, 2008
The Steinways - "Unoriginal Recipe" 7'' review
I saw Ben Weasel at Reggie's (Chicago) in May and met Larry Livermore from Lookout! Records. He was wearing a Steinways T-shirt. I had heard of them before, but have never heard their music. So as much as I don't like to do this, a few weeks later, I went online and tracked down a couple of their seven inches. I didn't wanna buy the album, cause what if they suck?
Anyway, I picked up "Unoriginal Recipe" as well as a split they did with The Peabodys called "Irreconcilable Differences."
I immediately took them to my turntable, plugged in my handy USB cable, fired up Audacity and went to town making MP3s.
My first impression was, "Eh. Sounds kinda amatuer and redundant." I decided to take out the insert and read along to the tunes.
Not even after the third song, I was hooked. By the time I got to "Main Street, Flushing, USA," I was a fan.
The Steinways are the most fun pop punk band I've heard since The Leftovers. The songs are straight up fun, upbeat tunes about girls. Simple and sweet.
No redundant political statements or songs about stressful social issues (even though females can be pretty stressful at times). Just fun, upbeat stuff.
The absolute most fun aspect about this release is the sixth and final track, "Voce Tem Labios De Uma Galinha."
Yeah, what the fuck, right? Aren't labia vagina lips?
They totally are, but after reading the insert, I learned it's a song sung in Portuguese. And I guess in Portugueuse, "labios" just means "lips" (of the north).
But I was stoked because I, myself, am partially Portuguese and have a Portuguese last name, but don't know a word of it.
Translated into English, the song is titled, "You Have Lips Like a Chicken."
So, it's not the romantic pop punk serenade I half expected, but it is 100 percent cool. And plus, when people ask me what the hell I am when they see my last name, I can have something to actually say in Portuguese. Thanks, Steinways! It's kind of like the first impression of that NOFX song on "So Long and Thanks For All the Shoes" but way cooler cause it's Portuguese and who the hell speaks Portuguese?
Another song worthy of mention is "Main Street, Flushing, USA."
It's got a reference to Burger King, which, since the Ramones stapled it to "Oh Oh, I Love Her So," every punk band after them that mentions it is somehow paying homage. It's also got a Riverdales reference in there, too.
It's neat getting a peek at what The Steinways are into (like we can't just assume).
But the thing that gets me about this song is this "27 bus." Grath, the lead singer, sings about all these hot girls on a 27 bus. Where can you get on this bus? Or is it just some ironic "Route 27" thing? Either way, Grath's lyrics are blunt and catchy.
"Oh girl, c'mon, let's go/Get in your little car and listen to the radio/Oh please, please girl give me a chance/I wanna see you naked."
You know what, girls, at least he's honest.
Thanks again, Steinways, for the Portuguese lesson as well as some more great tunes to listen to as I go about my day. Fans of pop punk, check this out!