Learning to Fall

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Schleprock had that revivalist punk sound particular to California, a swaggering blend of the Clash and vintage British punk-pop shot through with the influence of crackly old reggae records. Think Rancid, Green Day, or Sublime. For whatever reason Schleprock didn't quite break through like those bands did, despite a solid major label effort in 1996's (America's) Dirty Little Secret. They effectively broke up after that and issued the Long Time Ago retrospective in 1997. That makes 2005's Learning to Fall the band's second look back, but it's with a few extra tears, given the death of founding guitarist Jeff Graham in 2002. Learning is more comprehensive than Long Time, including Dirty Little Secret material like the fantastic single "Suburbia," the Ramones cover "Freak of Nature," and a live version of Hide and Seek's Paul Westerberg-ish "Tomorrow" that's made even more poignant in light of Graham's death. Elsewhere there's "Do it All" and "Monster," both sound like they could've come out on SST in 1982, a dub remix of "T.V. Dinner," and "Happy Home," the highlight of 1994's Propeller and an anthem more powerful and rousing than all the power chords in the history of the Warped Tour. The Schleprock faithful will have most or all of Learning to Fall's playlist, but it's the perfect introduction for anyone who missed them the first time around.

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