With VH1's I Love the '90s mere weeks away from airing, it's officially okay to long for the decade when the record industry co-opted college rock and ran it into the ground with predictable noise merchants. But it does seem an odd time for a still-new group of Phoenix punkers to be looking back in anger. It's been 18 months since Stereotyperider's impressive debut, Same Chords, Same Songs, Same Six Strings, which, in retrospect, would've been a perfect name for this set of punk cover versions. To its credit, the band doesn't buckle under the pressure of having to be as good as the Descendents or Seaweed. At the same time, there's not a whole lot being added or subtracted here unless you think not singing a Cure song like a yelping poodle is being interpretive. Faced with a pivotal track like the Pixies' "Where Is My Mind," the best anyone can do without pissing someone off is play the same chords and the same six strings and let a really well-crafted song do all the work. Factor in a new guitarist and an overdue sophomore effort, and you have the rationale for an enjoyable holding action whose sole reason for being, ultimately, will be learning some crowd-pleasers to encore with. Myself, I wish they'd hurry up and release something a little more . . . umm . . . Stereotyperidertypical.
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