Nerf Herder is one of the few early-2000s pop-punk bands worth listening to, and on American Cheese, their third album, the nerd-rockers really perfect their sound. The influence of one of the greatest pop-punk bands ever, the Descendents, can be heard throughout, matched by the slapstick but sharp-witted attitude of the Dead Milkmen and the arena-ready sound of Weezer. This genre doesn't get much better then the hilarious "Mr. Spock" ("you don't want a boyfriend, what you want is Mr. Spock...something more than human, someone with blood that's cold and green"). And "New Wave Girl" coolly updates the Descendents' love themes with a Mr. T Experience chorus and Ric Ocasek vocals -- it might not live up to "Silly Girl," but what does? Other highlights include "Jenna Bush Army," where Nerf Herder comes as close as it gets to political lyrics ("there's a new leader in the land with a platform that I understand, I saw her face in the magazine, she looks hot in her tight jeans") and the awesome sci-fi metal homage "Defending the Faith." But really, every song on American Cheese could make a great single. Maybe pop-punk isn't dead after all.
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AllMusic Review by Charles Spano