Rake It In: The Greatestest Hits
Me First and the Gimmie Gimmies
Fat Wreck Chords, 2017
On the outside chance you don’t know, Me First and the Gimmie Gimmies are punk-rock cover band with members of NOFX, Foo Fighters, Lagwagon, and Swingin’ Utters. They’ve been re-interpreting very un-punk songs in their own inimitable way for twenty or so years, and here’s their Greatest Hits retrospective.
As with any artist re-interpreting material, some songs work better than others. The urgency of “The Times They are A-Changin’” still rings true at the songs core, even if delivered at breakneck speed. “City of New Orleans” is surprisingly lithe and never loses the melody despite the speed. And this is true throughout all the songs. Vocalist Spike Slawson manages to sing, and his voice is the honey in the rock.
The Eagles “Desperado” is what passes for mid tempo and feels like a 33 rpm has been set to 45. “Sloop John B.” kicks off off with a truly funny Ramones reference.
The best songs here kick and thrash irreverently in the truest spirit of punk rock, before it set up shop at Hot Topic and was still a little scary. If there’s something you don’t particularly like, well, it’s over quick.