Me First and the Gimme Gimmes

Blow in the Wind

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A tribute mostly to the poppier, more bubblegum side of the '60s, Me First & the Gimme Gimmes' Blow in the Wind is a karaoke masterpiece, surprisingly the finest and punkest record they've released. The Gimme Gimmes' all-star punk rock cover band lineup, which includes members of NOFX, Lagwagon, and the Swingin' Utters, takes on mostly cheesy songs that baby boomer parents might get a kick out of, but which should make any self-respecting punks sick to their stomachs. For instance, the Gimme Gimmes somehow manage to take a dated hippie anthem like Cat Stevens' "Wild World" and make it rock like the holy jihad on the trail of a blasphemous author. Their version of "Elenor" by the Turtles begins with the opening to the Clash's "London Calling," complete with the bird squawk, and then ascends via "Elenor"'s extremely corny lyrics to the song's majestic chorus, which singer Spike Slawson takes way over the top, backed by the Gimme Gimmes' soaring harmonies.

Most of the moldy oldies they've chosen to soup up are the stuff of drive-in movie theaters, soda fountains, varsity football games, and making eyes at the opposite sex. Skillfully, they've taken the likes of Del Shannon's "Runaway" and Linda Ronstadt's "Different Drum" and turned them into full-blown, raging, though still very silly, punk rock classics, adding spectacular leads, fancy drum fills, and barbershop quartet-like harmonies. On Blow in the Wind, more often than not, they've created covers that actually blow away the original tunes.

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