Buy This Album or the Terrorists Win

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In a post-Nevermind world, the term alternative rock is really a figure of speech. That's because much of the music that's loosely defined as alterna-rock -- which could be anything from No Doubt to Creed to Garbage to Limp Bizkit -- is now rock's commercial mainstream. But Treephort is one alternative pop/rock band that, in the '90s and early 2000s, could honestly claim to be an alternative to something; they're a punk-pop alternative to emo, the dominant punk-pop style of the Bill Clinton and George W. Bush years. In fact, Buy This Album or the Terrorists Win is an engaging example of the band's ability to bring something fresh to punk-pop. This CD is oblivious to the emo scene; no one could honestly accuse Treephort of emulating blink-182, Green Day, or Sunny Day Real Estate. And the disc isn't punk revival either; Treephort isn't trying to sound like an exact replica of bands from 1978 (although they have influences from that era). What the Atlanta residents can be accused of is having an appealingly recognizable sound that contains elements of everyone from the Clash and the Dead Kennedys to Camper Van Beethoven, Oingo Boingo, and even Bruce Springsteen. But lyrically, Treephort isn't as serious-minded as the Clash or Springsteen -- the CD's lyrics are on the goofy side, and nutty tunes like "I Was Born in an Abortion Clinic" and "Good Things Still Come to Those Who Sleep With Me" exemplify Treephort's over-the-top sense of humor. Unfortunately, this 2003 release only last 34 minutes, which is hardly generous for a CD. But during that 34 minutes, Treephort is consistent -- and, all things considered, Buy This Album or the Terrorists Win is enthusiastically recommended to anyone who is seeking something fresh from punk-pop in the 21st century.

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