Punx Not Dead!

Another day late on the contest winners and the mixtape that I promised a week ago, you are all likely getting pissed off at thepaintedman. I don’t blame you, but at least there is some great punk rock for you to fuel your angst with in the way of California’s Bay Area folk punks Bobby Joe Ebola and the Children MacNuggits and Social D understudies The Prisoners of (my favorite city in the world) Philadelphia, PA.

[rating: 7/10]

Upbeat folk-pop music, interesting and often demented lyrics, and pure punk sensibilities are what defines the newest LP F by Bobby Joe Ebola and the Children MacNuggits. A concept album focusing on the (self-inflicted) declining world we live in, F includes songs about modern conveniences and the disastrous effects of such “advances” as well as many scathing words for everyone from hipsters to Christians. Entertaining through and through, this album is not just fun, but thought provoking. For instance, let’s look at the song “Sweet Shit of Christ”.

In today’s society the church is talked down daily
So what if priests and small boys are out there having playdates
Jesus is the reason that war comes around so frequent
What’s the fun in life without felonies or villains?

Yes, it is true that what you heard
Of God and money and of death
But I’ll be singing songs and praises
Until my dying breath for that Sweet Shit of Christ
Taste everlasting life
Get your wings and go to paradise

It’s been here for some time; there’s blood on every dime
Free wine and wafers everybody get in line
Thought you voted for that one with all that common sense
Then come the hail marys, amens and sacraments

Yes, it is true that what you heard
Of God and money and of death
But I’ll be singing songs and praises
Until my dying breath for that Sweet Shit of Christ
Taste everlasting life
Get your wings and go to paradise

I am wandering, tired and lonesome
Through the pastures and green fields
Lord of Shadows, I am waiting
My soul is empty, let’s make a deal
Give me power and I’ll rejoice
The rivers will flow red by and by
I will drink from those sweet waters
& no more will I talk to the sky

Scathing? Absolutely. Blasphemous? Indeed. Clever and poignant? Without a doubt. As a Christian who is as disenfranchised with the Church as anyone I know, I can feel the sting of these words all the while understanding where they come from. These lyrics don’t capture how I feel exactly, but I appreciate the reasoning as to why a song like this is more than mere mocking.

The world is crumbling around us and we’re all the culprits of this destruction. The church is part of it. The politicians are part of it. Big business is part of it. And, YOU are part of it. Like the MacNuggits say, give yourself an F.

[rating:7.5/10]

I’d never heard of these cats until last week, which is surprising since I used to spend a decent amount of time hovering around the Philly scene. Then again, in those days I was a mere kid and didn’t frequent the bar scene, where I expect The Prisoners spend their time.

In the Land of the Free is a solid EP. No tracks stand out as the best, but all pack a Social Distortion/Supersuckers type cowpunk and rockabilly inspired rockroll sound. For fans of the aforementioned bands, The Prisoners are sure to please.

If I had to choose a favorite song, I’d probably go with the opener, “Murder City USA”, a track that may wake up the ghosts of the Ramones with it’s fun, raucous sound.

Check out this EP and, in the meantime, here’s a video of one of their older songs live at Mojo 13.

~ by thepaintedman on September 25, 2010.

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