In 8th grade history class, I learned that history, as the proverb goes, often repeats itself. I didnâ€™t foreshadow that punk rock history would repeat itself so soon, and in such a disappointing way. The Osaka Popstar and the American Legends of Punk sound much like a more recent â€œpunkâ€ group, namely blink-182. Why Osaka would take on this over-polished, watered-down sound, I donâ€™t know. Many of the members of Osaka began in influential punk bands in the â€™70s, making musical history, and paving the way for suburban kids and urban kids alike to have an outlet for their frustrationâ€”giving us something to love, and something to be proud of.
Still, upon pressing play on Osaka Popstarâ€™s new album, Osaka Popstar and the American Legends of Punk, I thought I was listening to a new blink-182 album. Sigh…yet another over-produced pop album, merely masquerading as punk. Itâ€™s catchy, but way too happy. How can I continue listening to this? Where can I turn in this supreme state of disappointment?
So I begin to miss the old punk. I mean dirty, puke baron, who are quick to give the finger to anyone in the system punk. Bands that sound like they recorded their music on an old tape recorder in a friendâ€™s loft or basement. Indeed, the men from this band Osaka have been a part of this very scene that I describe. But what has happened to them? Have they, too, jumped on the bandwagon of suburban mall punk?
Keeping in mind that the members of Osaka Popstar stem from bands like Black Flag, The Ramones, The Misfits, and Richard Hell & the Voidoids, I would hoped to have listened to something reminiscent of those bands and to be confident that they can still rock out with the best, and well into the future while remaining true to their past. Not to disrespect to those who love blink-182, but I canâ€™t help but be disappointed after such a rich history I have known with these boys, even if I knew them only through my speakers.
All American Rejects – Move Along
Bowling for Soup – A Hangover You Donâ€™t Deserve
blink-182 – Take Off Your Pants and Jacket