The Expendables

The Expendables

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With a band name like that, the Expendables are simply begging for snotty drive-by non-reviews of the "Yes, quite" variety. The problem is that their music doesn't always provide enough of a defense against that kind of quick dismissal. Hailing from the beachside town of Santa Cruz, CA, the Expendables refer to themselves as a "surf culture" band, more in the Jack Johnson sense than the Dick Dale sense: The Expendables is filled with shaggy, reggae-based jam band skanks just made for middle-class white boys with dreadlocks to kick their hacky sacks to. These songs range from dull ("Paper Chains") to laughably bad (the self-explanatory "Ganja Smuggling"), which makes the occasional catchy little guitar pop tune like "One More Night" stand out more than it otherwise would. At their best, the Expendables are an inoffensive throwback to mid-'90s alterna-pop nobodies like Fastball and Deep Blue Something. At their worst, they're every trustafarian cliché come to tie-dyed life.

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