Mass Nerder

CD Cover All

Review by Michael O'Donahue

Are you into skate- and snow-boarding? Big, baggy clothes? Bad Religion? NOFX? Guttermouth? Well, if you answered YES, then you probably already about veteran California punk band All, and are really into them because they're on Epitaph and sound reminiscent of the aforementioned bands. They do what you like so well that it's like there's some kind of formula to it.

Which can't be the case, because PUNK doesn't follow any bourgeois formula, as every skater on every cul-de-sac with baggy pants, baseball cap and No Use For a Name t-shirt can tell you. Anyway, it's unfair and unprofessional to lump people together like that and generalize and everything.

So, what about Mass Nerder? Well, musically, it's pretty much by-the-book Epitaph rock. Kinda like Bad Religion, but not as good or important. Obviously, bands of a feather are going to have similarities and that's okey dokey -- I've never been one to fault a band for a lack of revolutionary revelations, and I like plenty of bands that sound like plenty of other of bands. It's not how Different you are, it's how Good.

And All just aren't very good. There's no one in the band writing anything particularly interesting. The singer, Chad, is pretty neo-punk generic and just sort of goes by and is gone. Not bad, just not that good and that's just not good enough. Unremarkable vocals can easily be overcome by remarkable sentiments, but "World's On Heroin" isn't all that witty, really. Maybe they know a lot of boring junkies, but it doesn't quite catch.

Although, if you listen to "Silly Me" like it's a song about pedophilia from the pedophile's perspective it almost sounds... dangerous. Unfortunately, pedophilia's pretty gross, so I have to take it more literally as a song about a guy going out with a younger girl and... nothing. "Silly me I'm too old for you/ Silly me I corrupted you/ I'm sorry our love didn't work out/ Quite the way we planned/ I'm sorry you remember it that way/ And I'm sorry you remember it that way." it sounds like a traumatic experience, I guess, but them's some pretty hokey lyrics.

Mass Nerder is a solid effort from unremarkable artists. They may have helped create the whole genre, but there's not much evidence of that, here. "A" for Effort, "C" for House League.

First published in Drop-D Magazine on May 29, 1998

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