Surf Punks

Party Bomb

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AllMusic Review by

For their follow-up to the cult classic Oh No! Not Them Again (1986), the Surf Punks return for another dose of high amplitude, party-hearty West Coast rock & roll. The lineup for Party Bomb (1988) includes the core of Dennis Dragon (percussion), Andrew Jackson (lead guitar/vocals), Mark "The Shark" Miller (bass/guitar/keyboards/vocals), Drew Steele (guitars/vocals), and Jerry Weber (keyboards) with guest appearances by Joey Fleicher (guitar), Pat Mautner (guitar), and Scott Goddard (vocals). Plus, John Hatton (bass) steps in for the unabashed "very special performance" of "Come On-A My House" credited simply during the spoken introduction to Drew Steele. The band's trademark sense of humor -- albeit undeniably frat house -- certainly hasn't escaped them. The slice-of-life melodrama "No Fat Chicks" adopts the same sexist slant that Frank Zappa was often chastised for. And with just as much attitude. Plus the nifty and bitchin' mile-a-minute backbeat charges through the heart of the quirky melody. Taking the comparisons a step further, "The Dummies" emulates the brain dead SoCal mentality that Zappa aptly depicted in "Flakes" and to a certain extent "Valley Girl." The lyrics hold up a not-so-subtle mirror and the emphatic power chords recall the hair metal scare that oozed out of Los Angeles during the mid-'80s. "Meet Me at the Beach," "Ya Shoulda Been Here Yesterday," and "Someone Ripped My Stick" fall into a similar category with plenty of references -- both musical and lyrical -- to the customs and denizens of the "surf worshiping" coastline craze. "Shark Attack" is singular not only for the mod B-52s influenced delivery, but it also takes full advantage of Mark "The Shark" Miller's wholly under-utilized songwriting skills. Notably, the band chose Steele's nu-wave frenzy "Wave Spy" and the countrified ballad "Klo-Rene" as tunes worth repeating from the Oh No! Not Them Again album.

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