Me First and the Gimme Gimmes

Go Down Under

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They’ve done their take on classic rock, country standards, ‘60s bubble gum, easy listening hits, and even Hebrew folk songs, so at this point, what’s left? Well, as the photoshopped cover of Fat Mike eating a vegemite sandwich next to a kangaroo suggests, Go Down Under is Me First and the Gimme Gimmes’ attempt at covering songs by Australian artists. For this five-song EP, which was made in preparation for an Australian tour, the So-Cal punk quintet ignores obvious choices by Men at Work and AC/DC, and blisters through songs by INXS, Olivia Newton John, Air Supply, the Easybeats, and Rick Springfield. Filtering standards through a punk-pop grater by turning up the speed and distortion is an easy gimmick, but to hear the intro of Black Flag’s “Rise Above” converge into a whiplash version of the candlelight ballad “All out of Love” is a fun treat, nonetheless. Meanwhile, “I Would Do Anything for You” was just begging for a rip-roaring treatment like this.

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