What brand of punk-rock oozes from your headphones these days? Is it of the serious “fuck the government” variety, or more pop-ish, silly nonsense? If you’re a fan of the latter, than A Dog Named Bob’s Malicious Compliance is an album for you.
While very far and away from being technically sound, this album answers the hard-hitting questions of today, like is it really okay to punch nazis? Do you need to give two-weeks notice when quitting a job? Or should one accept an invitation to go to space with Tom DeLonge? (Spoilers: yes, no, and yes, respectively.)
Each song is pumped with pop-punk pleasure that has many a good hook hidden inside. While the guitar strumming during the chuga-chuga bits can be sloppy at times, I don’t think Martin Perez (who plays every instrument on all the tracks) was going for a mind-blowing experience. Instead, he settled on the simple and absurdist nature of music and life. While he may lack the finesse that certain musicians have when focusing on a solitary instrument, he more than makes up for it with the energetic gusto he carries across the four instruments he records with. So, kudos to him.
One thing I wasn’t a big fan of was his choice of distortion on the guitar. It’s a very digital sound that I find lacks the raw oomph one gets when running through a straight tube amp. Also, the record is wayyyyy down on the low-fi sound. Like, it sounds like it was recorded by a waving tape machine slowly running out of batteries. That’s not to say it sounds bad, but it’s definitely an acquired taste. What I do really enjoy is the tone of his voice. While not the most prolific a singer, he has a certain je ne sais quoi about his scratchy, dirty delivery.
All in all, not a bad album if you want to listen to some not-too-serious punk. As always, give it a listen and let me know what you think in the comments below.
Written by Aaron Deck
*edited by Kate Erickson