The Shame Idols

I Got Time

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A brash, rocking, but defiantly poppy album, the Shame Idols' 1995 debut takes its place somewhere between mid-period Young Fresh Fellows (whose leader Scott McCaughey was an early supporter of this Alabama quartet) and Pleased to Meet Me-era Replacements. Three-quarters of the band had previously been in the punk band the Working Mothers, but the Shame Idols are more of a hard-edged power pop band. Singer/songwriter Tim Boykin has a sweet-toned voice and a knack for catchy little two-minute buzzsaw pop songs that rival Kurt Bloch of the Fastbacks. All 15 songs are immediately memorable. Drummer Jesse-Diego Suttle contributes one track, the sneering "Airhead," where his undeniable vocal resemblance to Darius Rucker of Hootie and the Blowfish (not a bad thing) adds an even poppier element to what would otherwise be the punkiest song on the album. Boykin's lyrics aren't particularly distinguished (except for "Sun Ra," a hilarious account of seeing a fellow Birmingham boy in concert while on acid), but neither are they embarrassing, and lyrics matter little in this brand of pop anyway. Though it didn't do much commercially, I Got Time is a terrific album well worth seeking out.

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