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Gave Me the Clap

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Album Review

Green Day have a lot to answer for, wresting the punk scene out of the underground and tossing it into the mainstream, undermining its intrinsic menace with layers of melodies and big fat hooks, and opening the door for blink-182 to streak through with a horde of generic pop-punkers hot on their heels. Well that's one theory — another theory would blame the Buzzcocks. Years have passed, but the sound remains the same: gooey melodies, lashings of bright guitars and pummeling drums, de rigueur sweet harmonies, and lathers of angsty lyrics. All perfect for the pimply set, although the bandmembers themselves have invariably long since left adolescence behind. Crash Romeo veer very close to this category, and on the daringly titled Gave Me the Clap flirt dangerously with cookie-cutter songs, pulling them out of the fire via musical mix-ups, adding varying degrees of rock to their pop-punk-rock confections. The infectious title track boasts a shout-along chorus, "Lady Luck" is underlain with a tough rock edge, "Maybe Lane" adds a hint of metal to the mix, "Better Off in Jersey" more than a hint, while "Honest Eyes" sparkles with classic rock. "About to Break," in contrast, is tinged with the palest shade of old-school punk and "Popular" crosses rock with the stop-start rhythms of the post-punk era. Intriguingly, there's even a string-laced ballad on the set, the yearning "Give Me Something" — now that's unexpected. Beyond the genre crossovers, Romeo's true salvation is drummer Ryan Weber, who steadfastly refuses to deliver up the tired old drum patterns that normally power this genre. With a penchant for the unexpected, like battering out punk patterns on the rockers, then rocking out on the punkier numbers, Weber resolutely turns the tables on virtually every track within, unlike the whiny lyrics so beloved of the teen-in-turmoil crowd. The other bandmembers provide plenty of exuberance, and even if the tunes are fairly interchangeable, the energy and hooks land this set in a league of its own.


Formed: 2004 in Bernardsville, NJ

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s

Having previously played together in the band Centsless, New Jersey-based Crash Romeo formed in late 2004 around friends Travis Weber (vocals), Ryan Weber (drums), Steve Anderson (guitar), Lil' Steve Mathews (bass/vocals), and Adam Nordmeyer (keyboards). New Jersey peers and pals BEDlight for blueEYES soon mentioned the exuberant pop-punk band to their record label, Trustkill, and though an obvious change in sound from the label's more hardcore-oriented roster, Crash Romeo was an official part of...
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Gave Me the Clap, Crash Romeo
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