Grabass Charlestons

Ask Mark Twain

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Genially goofy Florida pop-punk trio the Grabass Charlestons continue their Southern-fried take on the good ol' Lookout! Records pop-punk sound for their third album, Ask Mark Twain. Unapologetically dirty-minded -- highlights this time out include "The Fucking Song" and "Best in Shitty" -- without coming across as particularly skeevy or misogynistic, the Grabass Charlestons would, with slightly sharper, funnier lyrics and more melodic tunes, be contenders for the title of the Southeast's Answer to the Mr. T Experience. The only problem is that while the trio have the general attitude down pat, the songwriting isn't always up to snuff. Too much of Ask Mark Twain consists of forgettable 90-second bits of ramalama like "Goatcheese" and "Those Dirty Line Cooks Are Mysterious," blunting the impact of genuinely catchy songs like the jangling title track. Ask Mark Twain isn't a bad little pop-punk record, but it's easy to see how it could have been so much better.

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