Numbers on Napkins
Forget This, I'm Going To Tokyo
(Bad Stain Music)
As past installments of You Asked For It have demonstrated, I've rarely been impressed by Phoenix punk bands. Numbers on Napkins, this week's pick, fall somewhere in the middle of the pack. They aren't nearly as awful as, say, VW Trainwreck and The Video Nasties, nor are they anywhere near as good as 80*D.
Starting off with a title track that features some of the better bass playing you'll hear from a Valley band, NoN shows they can at least write decent melodies, unlike many of their peers. Sure, the recording quality leaves a lot to be desired -- some of the percussion ends up sounding like the weird blips your computer makes when you try to do something your operating system won't allow -- but at least there's some substance underneath.
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The second song, "Go Away," has another great bass line, and riffs that remind me of something Noodles would have played in his early days. "Ten Years Ago Today," an old punk's lament on the changing scene and his shrinking role in it, is the emotional heart of the record, and pretty much earned the "+" on this record's C grade on it's own.
From there, though, it's all downhill. By the end we're listening to men way too old to be lustful adolescents serenading a female volunteer (the band has an all-female fan club, pictured on their MySpace) with a song called "True Love." The girl's name is "Destiny" and so the song goes:
"Destiny, Destiny, Destiny: she sucks a mean dick.... You know she rarely drags her teeth, when she's sucking on my meat. Destiny, Destiny, Destiny: She sucks a mean dick."
Oof. Given that, a C+ seems overly generous, I know. But, hey, like I said, "Ten Years Ago Today" is pretty impressive.