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Upstairs/Downstairs

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Album Review

The joke hasn't yet worn thin for the Ergs, but the seams might be starting to show a bit. The Jersey pop-punk trio's second full-length album isn't exactly a bid for mature artistic credibility, but it's notably less willfully silly than what has come before, and frankly, some of the jokier topics feel a little stale. Songs about Isaac Asimov fanboyism ("2nd Foundation") and recycling clichés derived from The Music Man ("Trouble in River City") aren't exactly the height of cleverness. On the plus side, however, the Ergs' knack for ultra-speedy, ultra-catchy pop-punk tunes in the best tradition of the Ramones, Undertones, and Queers continues unabated: these 15 tracks get knocked out in a breathless half-hour of breakneck tempos and ramalama melodies topped with the group's trademark silly/smart lyrics. Picking individual highlights of an album designed to rush past in a breathless, geeky blur is a fool's errand, but the gloriously bratty "Books About Miles Davis" is a particular gem.

Biography

Formed: 2000 in South Amboy, NJ

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s

Three willfully geeky guys from New Jersey who play pop-punk with speed, power, and a mighty smirk (which occasionally belies the fact they sometimes mean what they say), the Ergs (or, as they like to call themselves, "The Near-Sighted Three") came together in 2000, with Jeffrey Erg (Jeff Schroeck) on guitar and vocals, Joey Erg (Joe Keller) on bass, and Mikey Erg (Mike Yannich) on drums and lead vocals. The band wasted no time preserving their music for posterity, putting out two self-released CD-Rs...
Full Bio