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Oh No! Not Them Again

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Album Review

With the Surf Punks, Dennis Dragon found the perfect outlet to distinguish his musical genius from that of his immediate family members, his father being composer, arranger, conductor, educator, Oscar winner, Emmy winner, and recording artist Carmen Dragon, while older sibling Daryl Dragon is arguably best known as the quiet but confident "Captain" of Captain & Tennille fame. Six years in the making, 1987's Oh No! Not Them Again! was their long-awaited follow-up to 1982's Locals Only. It includes over a dozen examples of their uniquely aggressive yet ultimately non-threatening West Coast punk rock. Dragon (drums, percussion, vocals) is joined by the respective talents of Andrew Jackson (lead guitar, vocals), Mark "Mark the Shark" Miller (bass, guitar, keyboards, vocals), Kevin Roberts (percussion), Drew Steele (guitars, vocals), and Jerry Weber (keyboards). Armed with propulsive tempos and undeniably catchy melodies, the band's brand of high-energy electro-synth pop is very much a testament to its era. However, the attitude-laden tongue-in-cheek stream of consciousness exhibited on "...And Then the Cops Came" and the anger management anthem "Too Many Guys Out" are but two of the cuts to have become the stuff of mid-'80s frat party legend. Additional standouts are "Locals Only II," as the ultra-hyper beat predates the sonic onslaught of thrash and power metal. Similarly, the speedy low-budget keyboard remake of "Ride the Wild Surf" is part parody and part homage to the Surf Punks' SoCal predecessors Jan & Dean. The remake of "Ballroom Blitz" is one of the better interpretations of the Sweet's '70s glam classic. Completely on the other side of the spectrum is the slightly countrified "Klo-Rene." The ballad about a pink jeep-drivin' teetotaler from "the valley" is surprising in its heartfelt, if not somewhat conspicuously out of place simplicity. In 2007, the Collectors' Choice Music offshoot Noble Rot reissued Oh No! Not Them Again!, adding the fun throwaway non-LP side "Camp Malibu" to the tune stack.


Formed: 1976

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s, '80s

As the name would indicate, the Surf Punks combined two emerging sounds of the late '70s -- punk rock and surf revival. The band, fronted by Dennis Dragon, personified the surf's-up, lighthearted West Coast attitude -- they were even featured in a PBS documentary demonstrating "California Beach English." The Surf Punks' irreverence, immaturity, and skepticism of outsiders came shining through in songs like "My Beach," "No Fat Chicks," "Teenage Girls," and "Locals Only." The band's self-titled debut...
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Oh No! Not Them Again, Surf Punks
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