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American Cheese

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Album Review

Nerf Herder is one of the few early-2000s pop-punk bands worth listening to, and on American Cheese, their third album, the nerd-rockers really perfect their sound. The influence of one of the greatest pop-punk bands ever, the Descendents, can be heard throughout, matched by the slapstick but sharp-witted attitude of the Dead Milkmen and the arena-ready sound of Weezer. This genre doesn't get much better then the hilarious "Mr. Spock" ("you don't want a boyfriend, what you want is Mr. Spock...something more than human, someone with blood that's cold and green"). And "New Wave Girl" coolly updates the Descendents' love themes with a Mr. T Experience chorus and Ric Ocasek vocals — it might not live up to "Silly Girl," but what does? Other highlights include "Jenna Bush Army," where Nerf Herder comes as close as it gets to political lyrics ("there's a new leader in the land with a platform that I understand, I saw her face in the magazine, she looks hot in her tight jeans") and the awesome sci-fi metal homage "Defending the Faith." But really, every song on American Cheese could make a great single. Maybe pop-punk isn't dead after all.


Formed: 1994 in Santa Barbara, CA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s

The self-proclaimed nerd rock band Nerf Herder was formed in 1994 by singer/guitarist Parry Gripp, drummer Steve "The Cougar" Sherlock, and bassist Charlie Dennis, taking their name from an epithet in one of the many spats between Princess Leia and Han Solo in The Empire Strikes Back. Based in Santa Barbara, CA, the trio specialized in post-grunge punk-pop full of geeky humor, similar to Weezer crossed with the nervy edge of the Descendents and the snarky pop culture obsession of the Dead Milkmen....
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American Cheese, Nerf Herder
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