Ten Foot Pole – Subliminal Messages 68/100

This marks my 30th review on jeffchin.com! As Dave is posting more and more interesting stuff everyday, my posting has become more and more sparse. This is partly due to the increasing amount of non-website worthy work that I’ve been getting done on my new house. Painting, cleaning, obsessing over where the furniture is going to go, etc. Fun to talk about in person, but bland on the internet. Not sure how impersonal this site has gotten…and trying to counteract that by posting these short views into my life before my music reviews that I write for DOA.

This weekend, I’m headed to OC with nick, amy and amanda. Hope it’s good weather, should have some pix up from this weekend early next week. Until this, enjoy these pictures, I found this first one in a 7-Eleven in Alexandria, and this second one as the default picture in a picture frame at a Bed Bath and Beyond. Anyways, onto the review…

Halfway through the album, I flipped the CD jewel case over to check the release date.

“Copyright 2004.”

Whoa, wait a second: 2004? Sounds like 1996 to me. With former fun-loving punk posterboys Blink 182 evolving from the playful Dude Ranch to the lewd Take Off Your Pants and Jacket and finally the grown-up self-titled release, you’d think that the band hase at least slightly changed the game for all aspiring punk bands on the rise. But there is always room for punk bands that are just out playing music strictly for fun. Ten Foot Pole is one of them. It shows in their energetic songs, often juvenile lyrics, and simple arrangements. But, then again, music is still allowed to be fun – this is punk rock isn’t it?

The first band that popped into my head was Nerf Herder. Ten Foot Pole is similar to that band in many ways, most noticeably the lead singer’s gritty, raw, and inevitably punk vocal tone. Many of the songs tackle serious subjects such as physical abuse and Rachel Corrie (a volunteer who was killed by an Israeli with a bulldozer after trying to prevent a Palestinian home from being destroyed). Subliminal Messages has its fair share of typical punk songs about being kicked out of kindergarten and relationships with girls. “Wake Up (And Smell the Fascism)” loses its seriousness when the song ends with lyrics like, “Happy cheese comes from happy cows / They’re so udderly happy, just fuckin’ ask them.”

As I mentioned before, the music is simple but has plenty of hooks, breakdowns, and palm muting to fill the 32-minute, 12-song disc. Don’t expect lots of crazy guitar solos or innovation within punk music here. Ten Foot Pole’s Subliminal Messages is an all-too-familiar album that is at least entertaining at face value.

Read the review on DOA!


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