Fear of a Punk Planet

Vandals, The - CD - Rating: 4/10

I remember being pretty excited when I bought this CD. I loved the earliest Vandals records and finally being able to get something new from that band was a big thing for me. Turns out something happened between Peace Thru Vandalism and this. A big part of that something was that all but one of the original members remained in the band, and that one original member was now playing a different instrument. They apparently didn’t admire Wire’s one line-up one name policy (they changed their name to Wir when the drummer left the band) like I did. The jokey lyrics are still there but their sound morphed into that cheesy radio friendly pop-punk sound that you hear from bands like Blink 182. On top of that are cringe worthy shredder guitar solos that just scream Southern California metal. What’s missing is that tinge of “I don’t care what you think” anger or aggression that, while never mean-spirited, really drove those early records.

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