Save Ferris

It Means Everything

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With their major-label debut, Save Ferris attempts to distinguish itself from the legions of late-'90s ska-punks by adding a touch of swing, lifted from the Squirrel Nut Zippers. While that makes them a novelty, it's not enough to make them interesting to anyone but ska-punk aficionados. Like their peers, they have a tendency to wallow in smirking "irony" -- their ham-fisted cover of Dexys Midnight Runners' "Come On Eileen" is embarrassing, and there's no need for a song called "Spam" -- which may sound good in concert, but it sinks on record. Still, there are a few signs that Save Ferris could break away from the pack. Lead vocalist Monique Powell has energy and charisma, while guitarist/songwriter Brian Mashburn can occasionally write a strong hook, as on "Superspy" or "The World Is New." Still, there's too much ska-punk-by-numbers and obvious crossover attempts (the string-drenched "Lies") to make It Means Everything an entirely successful debut.

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