By definition, the Me First And The Gimmie Gimmies formula is an obvious success: grab the biggest names on Fat Wreck Chords and hand them their respective instruments, pick out some critically successful songs from pop-culture for that wonder-lineup to turn into punk songs, pick out a theme to base the track list off of then throw on some silly costumes. Add lots of alcohol, and BAM you’re winning the hearts of thousands of greasy and aging skate punk lovers everywhere. Now, you’d think that this formula would get old after eight albums and a few singles, but you would be wrong. The only way the Gimmies will ever mess this up is if they pass out on stage or start playing Nickelback covers, and really, I’m still not even sure if that would ruin it for them.
This skate punk super-group may have acquired age over those eight albums, but that’s not to say that they’ve slowed down. While covers like “Speechless” and “On The Radio” do leave a bit to be desired, they are, at least, in no way sluggish, lazy, or in need of a few multi-vitamins. Some stand-out tracks have got to be “Beautiful,” “Top Of The World,” and “I Will Always Love You” which seem to so flawlessly fit the punk mold. It’s almost like the songs must’ve first been envisioned as skate punk songs before then getting eaten up by some big-shot at EMI and perverted into pop songs. Luckily, the Gimmies brought the tracks back to their punk rock roots.
While most cover albums sound sonically similar from track to track, ‘Are We Not Men? We Are Diva!’ (I hope you caught that punny Devo reference) includes a few breaks in their skate punk sound with folky and stripped-down covers. “My Heart Will Go On” is turned into a folk-punk anthem that feels more like Leo (I understand his name is Jack DiCaprio) and Rose found themselves sinking off a barge in the bayou rather than off the Titanic in the Atlantic. The Gimmies slap on another pleasant change of pace in the form of a stripped-down “Crazy For You,” tasty saxophone included.
So, if you’re picking up this album, it’s safe to say that you’re familiar with the rest of the Fat Wreck Chords super-group’s discography, and like the rest of the Gimmies’ discography you know you’re going to sing along upon the first listen. It’s safe to say that Are We Not Men? We Are Diva! holds up when compared to other Gimmes classics, while it also may even take the cake on production value. But, as we all know, as long as the Me First and the Gimmie Gimmies keep pumping out grimy, up-tempo skate punk covers of mainstream bull—there will always be a delightfully empty place for it in the hearts of millions thousands.
Drew Bankert is drinking with a koozie as he not-so-secretly laments the fact that there will, in fact, never be a Christina Aguilara like their was in 2002’s music video for “Beautiful”. You can follow him here – Facebook, or send him a message at – email@example.com
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