The Fundamentals - Get Off Our Lawn!: A Rock And Roll Testimonial
- Artist: The Fundamentals
- Album: Get Off Our Lawn!: A Rock And Roll Testimonial
- Label: Porch Harlot Records
- Year of Release: 2012
- ME Rating:
- Reviewed by: solitaryman on 2012-04-12
As the self-proclaimed "World's oldest garage band", Florida's The fundaMentals reside in that grey area between high and low expectations that can, in this case, be properly summed up by asking "will this catch my ear in a positive way?". Get Off Our Lawn! aims to answer that with a resounding "hell yeah" and, despite a few hiccups, ends up living up to it's lofty title AND living down to the typical garage band sound.
The band certainly has within it an interesting cast of characters, from The Icon (vocalist, lead guitar), Danger Dan (co-lead guitar), Big Hoss (keyboards and lead vocals on two of the tracks), The Hammer on drums and The Dive Bomber on bass. If you're slowly getting a picture of what to expect from the music itself, then I'd guess you're on the right track. With song titles like "I Do It All For Rock 'n" Roll", "She Wouldn't Shut Up", "Say It Loud" and "It's Good To Be Me", it becomes much more clear: The fundaMentals are almost entirely about good times and good drink. A collection of party anthems fueled by beer and buzzing amplifiers, Get Off Our Lawn keeps the energy upbeat and the fire blazing with solid riffs, sharply tuned keyboard hooks and properly immature lyrics. The production value plays to the "garage band" monicker perfectly; fuzzy, low-fi with just the slightest bit of polish that helps convey the big sound picture the band creates. The bass is too easily muddled in the mix, however, and most of the prominence is given to the vocals and, during instrumental passages, the dual guitars. The percussion, for the most part, keeps fundamental time and doesn't really shine in any particular fashion. No, the name of this game is big guitar hooks accented with atmosphere-setting keyboard melodies and frathouse lyrical fun. When this isn't the case, and the band slows things down, the results are rather lackluster. When Big Hoss takes the mic for "Don't Want to Feel This Anymore", what you get is the foundation of a semi-decent brooding ballad that's killed by the out-of-place vocals. All credit to Hoss' keyboard work, as it is a major part of this album's effectiveness, but he should definitely leave the singing to The Icon.
All in all, there are only a couple of tracks that could have been left off and, even with a shorter product, the fundaMentals would have a pretty damn good debut record with Get Off Our Lawn!. Everything about it screams immaturity except for the experienced nature of the catchy songwriting, another paradox amongst a variety of 'em the band has swirling around them. Dig through the dirt, however, and find yourself a true treasure of DIY mentality, southern-tinged barroom rock and roll, and the balls to tell whomever said "if it's too loud, you're too old" to f*ck right off.
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