Local Wire

Numbers on Napkins

This CD is like an old, crusty friend who jams safety pins through his nostril, shaves his pubic hair into an anarchy symbol, and makes coffee with the water from hot dog packages — it's just so inane and fun. Let's get something straight about Numbers on Napkins — this is punk in its most primal form, harking back to the days when punk rock was about Sid Vicious onstage, bleeding all over a bass that was never plugged in 'cause he didn't really know how to play it. NoN is similarly sloppy and obnoxious, but the band's music is a hell of a lot of fun. The four-piece's raucous diddle ditty "Another Song Maximum Rock 'N' Roll Won't Like" clocks in at just under two minutes, but they manage to cram numerous uses of the words "cock," "faggot," and "fuck" into the first 15 seconds, and then ridiculously rip off the choruses of rock chart-toppers "It's Still Rock and Roll to Me" by Billy Joel, "It's Only Rock 'N' Roll (But I Like It)" by the Rolling Stones, and KISS' "Rock and Roll All Nite." NoN is its best here — short and snarky. But when the band tries to craft a radio-friendly pop-punk number about a girl ("Precious Cargo"), things get horribly bland and sound like a drunken Ataris jam. Explorations like "The Last Song" aren't too bad, but that's because the song doesn't sound formulaic — the mix of psychedelic keyboards, punk guitar, and falsetto vocals produces a unique, "groovin'-in-the-gutter" sort of feeling. The hidden track at the ass-end of the CD is interesting, to say the least. It's basically almost five minutes of impersonations — including Sean Connery and Arnold Schwarzenegger — that begins with somebody saying, "Numbers on Napkins — the guys that T-balled my head with their ball sacks. Their hairy ball sacks!"
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Niki D'Andrea has covered subjects including drug culture, women's basketball, pirate radio stations, Scottsdale staycations, and fine wine. She has worked at both New Times and Phoenix Magazine, and is now a freelancer.
Contact: Niki D'Andrea