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July 14, 2024

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Riverfenix (Drive Thru Records)

By: Alex Steininger

Hailing from Houston, Texas, Riverfenix serves up their own brand of pop-punk mayhem. Differentiating themselves from all the other pop-punk bands, they add a bit of arrogance (meant in a good way), as well as a lot of humor to their music. On top of all that, they always kick out beats that both kick your ass and smooth you over with melody. No matter what you think about pop-punk bands today, one listen to his CD and you'll be in over your head.

"Apple Pie Cowboy Toothpaste" screams humor. Opening up the CD, they cut through a quick sample and then the music begins. Hard hitting drums, tight bass, and poppy guitar kick it off. Then the drums get faster, and so does the bass and guitar. Suddenly the band stops, except for the guitar, setting the listener up for some pop-punk. A very melodic verse bursts through the listener, before a tremendous hook cuts right through you and the chorus comes at you with full force. The backing vocals add even more melody to the song, and give it a softer feeling, as if it actually had some compassion for someone else besides itself. Everything goes good until the guitar stops and the bass and drums play background for some rap. Not only does it seem very out of place, but it takes a lot away from the song. Soon jumping back into some pop-punk, they erase any feelings of doubt that may have formed after they went into their little rap. "Gangsta Bitches On Heroin" manages to combine their sex-driven arrogance and humor with a serious topic. Tackling the subject of an abusive parent that gets in the way of teen love, the boyfriend ends up vowing to kill the man that is not only physically hurting his girlfriend but emotionally hurting their relationship as well. Never getting political, they always keep the topic funny and sing-a-longable. Not only is that tough, especially with a topic like this, but they do it in style. "Skinhead Jessie" is a pop-ska-punk number that will get you bouncing and dancing with ease. Highly infectious, your feet will find its charming melody very enticing. For the people that also want punk, the chorus serves up some very melodic punk that is just as infectious and bouncy as the verse. "Jean Claude Trans Am" starts out with a guitar that will rope you and drag you in played over hammering drums and a hard hitting bass, complete with violin as you've never heard it. The addition of the violin adds a lot of flavor to the song with its tension building notes playing perfectly along side the hard working rhythm section. The rest of the song is more pop-punk that will drive you mad and stick with you the rest of the day, causing you to dive straight into the CD and 'get your fix.' Closing out with a very sexual driven "rooster song," they once again flash off their arrogance, but never get too caught up with themselves, as they take everything and turn it into a joke. A heavy metal song even pops up as a hidden track. One thing is for sure, don't ever be surprised of what these guys do, they're capable of anything as long as its fun and gets a laugh.

Riverfenix is a barrel of laughs. They may seem cocky at times, and very arrogant, but that's just their way of laughing at themselves and having fun with everyone else. With their sex-driven humor they catch you off guard, and once they have you off guard they go straight through your mind and do funny things with your body, so keep your eyes on them at all times. If you're looking for some outstanding pop-punk that will make you bounce off walls and laugh hysterically, these are the guys for the job. I'll give this CD an A-.

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