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Album Review

Though it doesn't sound like a brilliant idea, Me First & the Gimme Gimmes, an all-star cover band dedicated to regurgitating punk rock-style the most frothy music in their parents' record collections, are actually extraordinarily entertaining and can make the likes of John Denver and Barry Manilow sound not so bad. The lineup includes Fat Mike of NOFX, the guitarist from the Foo Fighters, a couple of the guys from Lagwagon, and Spike Slawson, the Gimmes' sweet-voiced singer, who also plays bass for the Swingin' Utters. On their second record, Are a Drag, the Gimmes tackle all of their parents' favorite showtunes, claiming homage rather than satire. Most of their choices are songs that anybody even remotely into musicals knows by heart. Their cover of "Don't Cry for Me Argentina" has more choruses than the original, rocks pretty damn hard, and is certainly worthy of a swirling slam pit. Though it's not as wild as John Coltrane's version, the Gimmes' "My Favorite Things" is raging enough to send Julie Andrews swan diving off the stage into a sea of sweaty punkers. They mess with the jazz standard "Summertime" by Gershwin, adding some fine surfy leads to a song that's been played a million times over. Also, there's their furious rendition of Andrew Lloyd Webber's "Phantom of the Opera." On Are a Drag, the Gimmes succeed at playing showtunes that punk kids can dig, no small feat.


Formed: 1995 in San Francisco, CA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Punk's premier cover artists, Me First and the Gimme Gimmes are a conglomerate of some of the most recognizable faces in new-school punk. Drawn together by a mutual love of '60s and '70s music, the Gimme Gimmes work exclusively as a cover band. Their repertoire includes songs from such acts as Neil Diamond, Billy Joel, and John Denver. With an ever-changing cast of characters, singer Spike Slawson (of the Swingin' Utters) originally formed the Gimme Gimmes in 1995, drawing on the talents of NOFX...
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Are a Drag, Me First and The Gimme Gimmes
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