Whole Wheat Bread

Minority Rules

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Although the band name is reminiscent of some hippie-dippie acoustic folk group from the '70s, Whole Wheat Bread is a pop-punk trio from Jacksonville, FL. Other than the lack of violin, Whole Wheat Bread don't sound all that different from Yellowcard, the best known of the Jacksonville pop-punk bands: the songs are unfailingly catchy, with the sort of singalong choruses that inspire frenzied pogoing even when the hook lines are as angsty as "I'm 19 years old and broke as f*ck," from the breathless opener "Broke." Black punk bands are nothing new -- Bad Brains and Ice-T's side project Body Count come immediately to mind -- but prior to Whole Wheat Bread, they tended to be seen almost as novelties. One of the refreshing things about Minority Rules, aside from the unapologetic poppiness of the songs, is the way that the trio neither ignore their racial background nor overemphasize it. Indeed, they've got enough of a sense of humor to poke at stereotypes: after the breakneck album closer, "Miss the Bus," comes several untitled bonus tracks by the band's gangsta rap alter egos.

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