Local Wire

The Vandals

While all the upstart pop-punk bands seem insistent on establishing their "maturity," the Vandals are like the guy who shows up to the 20-year high school reunion wearing parachute pants and a joy buzzer, revealing he still lives in his mom's basement and still works at the local comic book store. These legendarily goofy, three-chord-lovin' Californians, who really helped put Orange County-style hyperactive punk on the map, are closing in on 25 years together as a band. But the quartet's latest album, Hollywood Potato Chips -- featuring such loud, fast 'n' funny songs as "Don't Make Me Get My Fat & Lazy Ass Off This Couch," "Christian or Canadian" and "Designed by Satan" -- proves these guys aren't ready to let go of the juvenilia any time soon, thank God. It's enough to make you nearly forget that drummer Josh Freese also plays with ponderous, gothy alt-metal bores A Perfect Circle. It's way more fun hearing him pounding the skins on a Vandals classic like "Live Fast, Diarrhea."
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Michael Alan Goldberg