Rat Ass Pie (Go Kart Records)
By: Alex Steininger
A three-piece punk band from Berkeley, California, The Parasites keep the melodies plentiful and the music fun. Always staying true to themselves, as well as the music, they have as much fun as possible, which clearly rubs off on the listener within the first listen of the disc. Formed at the end of the 80's, they're still going, releasing and touring to promote their music. On their latest album, RAT ASS PIE, they keep the music powerful throughout all fourteen tracks.
A good punk band never wastes time, quickly diving into the punk melodies that will surround the listener for the remainder of the disc. Ah, the Parasites are no exception there. "Sunnyside" kicks off the album with a blast. A chunky guitar dances through the song, with the bass and drums soon jumping in to chase down the guitar. Mixing in some melody along the way, the foundation is set for a solid punk album, with enough melody to be considered pop-punk, although they play fast and loud enough to keep everything on the straight-up punk side. "Hang Up" has to be one of the most infectious numbers on this disc. Loaded with hooks, right after they finish one they slip another one your way. The chorus is the centerpiece for the song, with so much punch to it you won't be able to ignore it. Another punk tale of love gone bad, guy wants girl, and so on, they do it in style. I found myself singing along, humming with the disc, and involving myself with the song. So well written, you start to think of the main character as yourself, and you can't help getting wrapped up in the song. "What Should I Do" brings another blast of punk rock forth. Hard hitting drums keep the song on track, while a pounding bass keeps everything thick and juicy, like punk rock should be. The guitar screams through the song, helping to keep the loud and fast vibe present. All the while, the vocals sing with melody in every word, keeping the song very melodic. Not your average punk gnarl, they still keep a little punk-style vocal in the words, but rely on clean, pop style vocal harmony to keep everything bouncy and fresh. Same goes for "The Same Thing," another catchy number. As always, the vocals lead the pack, but this number gives the bass much more power. Keeping the band in tack, and making its presence known every bit of the way, the bass hurls itself into the mix and keeps the song bouncy and toe tappin'. The guitar lightens up a bit, toning down everything and allowing a more pop-oriented feel throughout, while the drums hammer away like usual. "Telling Lies" brings back the fast-paced beats, with the guitar once again turning up the pace and screaming through the song. The vocals even drop a bit of the melody, and focus on more of a 'punk' sound. Proving that they can be poppy or they can play straight-forward punk rock, this one has to be a pit favorite. "Columbia" keeps the tempo fast and semi-hard, as the music nears a close. Once again going for the straight-forward punk dwelling, they pull it off just as easy as they pull the pop-punk off. Closing out with "Carve Your Initials," the CD closes out with an acoustic number that will definitely put your mind into a whirl. A nice treat amongst all the punk, I really enjoyed this. Of course, I'm a big fan of acoustic music in general, especially just a person's voice and the guitar as the whole song structure, so I really enjoyed this close to the disc. Just as catchy as their punk music, you'll enjoy this one as well. Stick around and hear some hidden track stuff, too!
A solid punk album from start to finish, which really has became a rare quality amongst the punk scene as of late. Both fast and poppy, they can switch between the two forums with ease. A real treat for any fan of punk. I'll give this disc an A.
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