By Niki D'Andrea
A few weeks ago, I posted a blog soliciting local CDs for review in this weekly feature called "You Asked for It." Since then, I've received albums from Underwater Getdown, Reign of Vengeance, and this week's review subject, Dude Offline.
Dude Offline Nerd Love (Loud Folk Records) Imagine Weird Al as the snot-bastard offspring of the Ramones and Nirvana, and you’re close to imagining the vibe of Dude Offline. It’s punky and snarky, but really dorky, too. Nerd Love is full of simple arrangements, the same four-chords, and unabashed goofiness. To wit: there’s a song called “Underwater Midget Boxer” here. There is also the song “You Suck, You Drank My Beer,” which is reminiscent of the Dickies and the Vandals, but with more of a bro-in-the-bar vibe, like something Dave Pratt might’ve recorded with his band back when he was the morning deejay on 98 KUPD. The song also stands out because it sounds more original than other songs on the album -- “Scapegoat” tears its tune from Blink-182’s “All the Small Things,” and the title track’s music is ripped straight from the Ramones’ “Blitzkrieg Bop,” with new lyrics laid down over the uh, melodies. Imitations aside, some of Dude Offline’s songs are pretty groovy – “J.F.J.” wins the hypothetical award for best cowbell getdown, and the dark rock vibe of “ It Sucks to Be You” is a nice departure from the jokey jams. There’s also a cover of the Ramones’ “I Wanna Be Sedated,” which opens with a startling burst of death metal gurgling of the lyrics over thrashing guitars, but then digresses into a more straightforward, less remarkable rendition. Nerd Love isn’t revolutionary, but it’ll work as a party CD for about 15 minutes.
If you're a musician from the Phoenix area and would like to have your stuff reviewed here -- for better or worse -- send me your CD, marked "YAFI," at the address below:
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Niki D'Andrea c/o Phoenix New Times 1201 E. Jefferson Street Phoenix, AZ 85032