REVIEW: The Dropouts! – “The Dropouts!” (2016)

The Dropouts!

Let me start this review by saying that I’m a sucker for garage punk, so when I got a review copy of The Dropout’s new record, I knew I was in for a treat. And I’m glad to say that the record was what I expected and then some. It hit all the right notes, and I loved every minute of it. It’s fun, it’s rambunctious, and it’s chaotic in the best way possible.

The record opens with “Beef Tapa”, a song that the band released a long time ago. It’s a short blast of surf punk that pretty much sets the tone for the entire record. It’s followed by the infectious “Sheila Is a Gold Digger”, a track that’s bound to get people dancing at shows. The third track, “John-John”, continues the band’s irreverent streak with the track being sounding like something The Black Lips (or hell, Yano) would do.

The fourth track, “Johnny Is a Gay” is another blast of pure energy with its loud guitars and catchy hook. But it’s the fifth track, “Firecracker Jacket Suit” that really made an impression on me when I listened to the record. For a punk band as rough and as loud as The Dropouts!, they have a keen sense of melody and it’s apparent in this track. It even has early Beatles-style harmonies. The following track, they grunge-y “Business Is My Pleasure”, is in my opinion the weakest track of the bunch. In a record filled with memorable songs, it’s the one that didn’t stick with me.

However, the band turns things around with “These Kids”, a short acoustic number that’s weird but still somehow fits the record. They then followed it up with the track “My Cinnamon”, a song that wouldn’t sound of place in a Nuggets compilation because of the 60’s-inspired instrumentation. They end the record with the one-two punch of “Ramon” and “Langit-Lupa”, the latter being one of my favorite singles of the year.

There’s a sense of controlled chaos in The Dropouts’ music. They may be loud, they may be brash, but they’re still a tight unit and it can only come from a clear understanding of the style of music they’re playing. And that’s rare to find in a lot of punk bands nowadays.

“The Dropouts!” is a short and exciting record and any self-respecting fan of rock ‘n’ roll and punk rock should give it a listen. Now excuse me for a second while I listen to the record one more time.

Thank god for The Dropouts.

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