Playing snappy punk-pop which manages to be infectiously hooky while rocking pretty good at the same time, Dirt Bike Annie aren't exactly redefining rock as we know it, but they are having a lot of fun with what they're doing, and sometimes having fun makes all the difference in the world. It Ain't Easy Bein' Single (Vinyl EPs and Rarities) is as much of a "career retrospective" as anyone might need from this band, collecting five EPs the band recorded between 1996-2000 along with a handful of unreleased tunes and a collection of pep-rally cheers, prank calls, between-song patter from live shows, endorsements from fans, and a failed phone-sex call in which the operator, attempting to describe an erotic assignation with the band, can't stop laughing. It's hard not to be won over by the gloriously dumb "Stupid Head," "Mama, She's Trying to Kill Me," and "What's Happening, Hot Stuff," and if a band is gonna cover "Are You Ready for the Summer?" from the movie Meatballs, you might as well throw in a lo-fi Bill Murray sample, as DBA does here. (They also cover "Holiday Road," proving they know their sterling pop tunes from bad comedies featuring Saturday Night Live alumni.) The addition of Jeanie Lee on guitar and vocals by track 14 certainly ups the ante, but pretty much everything here is a hoot, and DBA's cheerful snottiness actually manages to not become horribly tiresome after 70 minutes. Good stuff, and they could probably beat Blink-182 and Sum 41 in a fair fight.
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