Down With the Average Joe

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The appeal of X Members' Down With the Average Joe isn't its originality; rather, it's the consistently clever and satisfying punk aggression displayed on this 1996 release. Rare is the band that can even produce a single memorable speed punk anthem, and X Members produce several on this, their only full-length recording for Priority Records. Drummer Mick Palmesano deserves extra credit for maintaining his high intensity throughout each of the record's 15 furiously paced cuts. Especially strong material like that in "Mr. Neutron," "Gospel," and "Million Man March" also highlights vocalist Gabby's knack for humorous punk hooks that never stray into novelty. Unfortunately, Gabby runs out of good ideas during Down With the Average Joe's second half, as tracks like "Car Trouble," "I'm Home," and "Lord Knows," while still mustering punchy performances, lack the smirk and style of the record's better material. Down With the Average Joe chronicles X Members as capable but limited Orange County punk also-rans.

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