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June 20, 2024

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Me First and the Gimme Gimmes
Have A Ball (Fat Wreck Chords)

By: Alex Steininger

Another cheesy cover band? Sorry you must have Me First and the Gimme Gimmes confused with a band that plays covers straight out of a book. Not these guys! Five incredible musicians (one being Fat Mike from NOFX) put their own spin on old classics. The CD starts out with a full explosion of punk on "Danny's Song." Screaming guitars cut through any doubts, while the bass hammers away at your thoughts. The drums break the sound barrier with their tremendous belt, all the while some smooth and clean vocals take control of everything. A sure way to start off a terrific album. But if you thought that was great, your in for a surprise when you hear their wonderful cover of Billy Joel's classic "Uptown Girl." It starts out with the whole band "ohh'ing" and then it kicks into some great pop-punk, all the while maintaining the heart and spirit Billy Joel did when he first did this song. The drums pound away, keeping time precisely. The guitars scream through the song, and find their way to your heart. And Mike's bass, it pulls everything together in classic NOFX fashion. The only disappointing thing about this song is how they ruin the mood at the end when the vocalist gets on and says, "Yeah! One more time...yeah! Yeah!" It just took away everything they had built up with their smooth cover of an 80's classic. "Sweet Caroline" is nicely re-done as well. One thing I love about Me First is the nice, clean vocals. None of that gnarling, punk attitude in the vocals. Just pure fun. And you can tell they are having fun when they bang out other peoples songs with their punk force. Other songs they re-do include "Seasons in the Sun," "Nobody Does It Better," and "Mandy." All equally done as great as the previous. It's great to know after making their own music, these guys still have enough love and passion to put into others.

You've heard covers, now here COVERS! These guys wrote the text book on covering bands. Check out this album, and be prepared to be blown away! It's great. I'll give it an A-.

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