Friday, September 16, 2011

The Smoking Popes-Get FIred LP (1993)

I don't expect anyone outside of Chicago and under the age of 30 to know who the Smoking Popes are. Standbys of the early-'90s Chicago pop punk scene (Screeching Weasel, Bollweevils, etc.), the Popes' work has aged better than their contemporaries, especially this, their debut LP.

   Melding saccharine vocal phrasing, so-obvious-they're-retarded-riffs, and a charmingly discreet rhythm section, Smoking Popes eschewed the high-pitched whining that afflicts almost all post-Buzzcocks pop punk. Instead of sneering at everything like their major booster, Ben Weasel, the Popes sang songs about love and being lazy twentysomethings.
     Look at the cover of Get Fired, and you get a pretty good idea of who the Popes were and what they were up to: four normal schlubs playing basic rock 'n' roll. No pretenses, no irony, no bullshit. They also wrote one of the all-time greatest slacker anthems, "Not That Kind of Girlfriend." The chorus says it all: "I don't wannt fall in love/'til I'm thirty-five...."

"And you're not helping..." Buy the LP direct from the band, here. They're playing a few dates in the upper Midwest in October, check 'em out if ya get a chance!

1 comment:

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