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Extra Medium Kick Ball Star

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Album Review

Fifteen's tirades against abusive parents, music business realities, fascism, environmental destruction, and religion get above-average musical treatments on the group's one and only Cool Guy Records release, Extra Medium Kickball All-Star. If Jeff Ott's hyper-progressive lyrics were given a metaphor or two — if only to break up the single-mindedness of his "poetic" output — things would work out even better. But the singer/guitarist sounds better than ever despite all of his issues. Perhaps it's the phonetics, but for some reason the same old messages sound almost fresh on highlights like "Over and Over" and "Chris' Song." The latter wasn't written by Ott, but the tone won't exactly strike Fifteen fans as unfamiliar. A strong effort from the group, Extra Medium Kickball All-Star is one of the best from Ott and company.


Formed: 1988

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Formed in 1988 after the demise of the Bay Area punk band Crimpshine, from day one Fifteen forged punk-pop songs with strong social messages. Singer/guitarist Jeff Ott's lyrics focus on social justice and issues such as homelessness, drug abuse, environmental destruction, and government strong-arm tactics. Many of the themes that his songs deal with seem to be pulled from his own experience; sexually abused as a child, he left home at 13 and lived the life of a gutter punk on the streets for 11 years....
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Extra Medium Kick Ball Star, Fifteen
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