Grimetime set themselves up dirty by naming their album “I Think We Could Do Better,” because unfortunately, I think they could do better too. This album landed a 4/10, 1 point given to honour each original Ramone. Grimetime is very open about their love of the Ramones, even going as far as stating that their band is taking a page out of the Ramones textbook. Unfortunately, I think the textbook they had was a knockoff. You’d be hard pressed to find anything original about this release. Although the instrumental elements are well dialled in and recorded, the songwriting, vocals and lyrics just don’t get the job done at all. It’s a long haul of thirteen short songs, and there’s even a pop-punk cover of an Eagles song.
“Robot Attack” dials us in first, a song about, well, a robot attack. Until the vocals kick in, you’d be able to fool someone into thinking this was some re-mastered Ramones stuff. While the band is tight and crunchy and cool, the whiny junior-high vocals just undermine anything that could be tight and crunchy and cool, especially when singing about a robot attack. We revisit the pre-adolescent years with the song “Buddy Lembeck Kicked My Ass.” This song recounts the story of someone getting their ass kicked by Buddy Lembeck. I sure hope this is a real person by the way. It would be cool if the band just straight up called him out. Again, the music is crunchy and the production is simple in this nod to the Ramones. However, the vocals are too happy-fappy la la la oh oh to be able to pack the same punch as the distorted sound wave behind it.
You’ll probably make your way halfway through the song “Half a Chance” before you start to think you’ve already heard this before. You probably have. The most punk thing on this record up to this point is the next song. It’s titled “3:00” but runs at 2:03. To keep rolling at this pace, the band manages to make a cover of “Peaceful Easy Feeling” by the Eagles sound like a rip off of Nirvana’s cover of The Vaselines’ “Molly’s Lips.” Impressive?
After a few songs about girls and Sunny D, the band actually dives into a really cool intro with “Rhythm of the Rain.” Big floor tom action and heavy bass creates a mighty rumble in the jungle. Once again though, the vocals hop onto the fun and put a mightier damper on the run. Cheesy lyrics and an over-cheerful delivery is the Achilles heel to this album. The only song that carries a solid heft with it throughout its entirety is “Verse/Chorus/Fuck You.” There’s some grit in the vocals and some punch to the song. It comes in near the end of the track list, which just goes to prove you should always listen to things front-to-back in the hopes of coming away with something you like.
It’s a risky move to base so much of your music on just one band. This entire album though was made with nothing but love for the Ramones and punk music and that has to be respected. I wouldn’t be doing the genre of punk a favour by not being honest about this album, and the band wouldn’t be doing punk a favour if they didn’t tell me to shove it. God Save the Queen.
Written by Ben Cornel
*edited by Mike Milito