I love a band with a sense of humour. There are so many punk bands that take themselves too seriously, even though punk rock is one of the goofiest subgenres out there (next to black metal). The whole existence of Ram Ones (pronounced RAHM-WUNZ, not to be confused with the punk pioneers) is based on a joke, however, they don’t let the gimmick infiltrate the core of the music they play. The Cleveland, OH hardcore four-piece dropped their debut album Real Tree Camo earlier this summer. The album cover is completely black, either as an homage to Spinal Tap or simply out of pure laziness.
The opening track “Lie, Cheat, Steal (not the one by Run the Jewels)” cuts straight to the point: an undefeatable punk drumbeat, fast four-chord progressions, and nihilism belted at top volume. The tempo only slows down for the occasional breakdown, like in “The Reason (not the one by Hoobastank),” but songs rarely go over the two-minute mark.
Each song ends with the band talking to their imaginary audience: “Thanks, we’re Ram Ones.” By the fourth or fifth song, it becomes annoying but then becomes funny once again near the end of the album. The only way to revive a dead joke is to continue to kill it over and over again. The gag reaches its peak on the second-to-last track “Thanks, We’re RAM ONES,” only 16 seconds long. And yet they still felt the need to punctuate it with not one, but two “Thanks, we’re Ram Ones.”
It really sounds like the recording process was actually fun. There’s a lot of studio banter left on the recordings: hushed giggles, somebody yelling “we’re recording, asshole,” a false take of a gang vocal.
Ten tracks at less than fifteen minutes. It finishes so quickly, you’re forced to listen to it five times more. And you deserve it because no matter how awful this world can get, you need to be able to laugh as much as you can. Thanks, Ram Ones.
Written by Chris Aitkens
*edited by Danielle Kenedy