Let The Fat Men Plunder (Panic Button/Lookout!)
By: Alex Steininger
It's been three years since The Jimmies released their debut full-length, Countdown (Schizophonic). Now with a record out on Panic Button/Lookout!, The Jimmies seem poised to turn the pop-punk world upside down. Their infectious, '77 brand of pogo-punk has all the hooks, power, and bounce-able fun that all the others have. What sets The Jimmies apart though from their Lookout! counterparts is the fact that The Jimmies have substance.
Sure, they've got the fun love songs about their TV crushes ("Ginger"); but, they've also got songs about growing up, fighting the uphill battle, and forging ahead while looking failure in the face.
"She's Got It" is about a girl who stuck by the side of her man, through thick and thin. But, the opening lines could just as well be about The Jimmies of yesteryear: "We started out nearly eight years ago/ Things were kinda rocky/ We drank and we fought and we had lots of fun/ Those fuckin' days are hazy".
Then there is, "Advantage," which sums up The Jimmies ten-year rock and roll life in a catchy four-minute pop-punk ditty:
"No one makes it on the first try/ No one makes it on the second try/ No one makes it till they realize you got it/ Money's not the sign you're looking for/ Fame's not the sign you're looking for/ This is not what you had bargained for, now is it?".
The song continues with more powerful lines, each one rich in meaning:
"They'll take advantage of me/ They'll take advantage of us/ It's not so easy/ They know you do it cause you love it/ Money's not your inspiration/ They know this is their leverage to take you/ They'll use up everything you got/ Chew you up and let you rot/ It's the contract that you got, you signed it."
Finishing the song, The Jimmies give it their all, like they've been doing for ten plus years, wearing their hearts on their sleeves and doing it for that one person who comes up to them after a show and talks about how much their songs mean to him/her:
"Working on a dream to make it/ If there's money in it we'll take it/ With our eyes open wide/ We got a ticket to ride/ Here we are all along/ Working our fingers to the bone/ When all you people sing along/ It makes me feel right at home/ We've come a long way/ With our bass player Jay/ When do we get paid?"
The album closer "Sun" is an un-punk seven-minute testament to the magnitude and longevity of The Jimmies. Where they'll go from here, I don't know. But, this fourteen-song piece of pop-punk bliss blows the rest of the shit out of the water. Leave it to the underdogs to KO the champs; I'll give it an A+.