ME FIRST AND THE GIMME GIMMES Take A Break (Fat Wreck) Rating: NNN Rating: NNN
Having already taken the piss out of cheesy AM radio hits, schmaltzy musical theatre standards and 60s bubble-gum pop, you'd figure targeting overwrought R&B/soul ballads was a no-brainer for goofy punk cover supergroup Me First and the Gimme Gimmes. Comprising characters from a slew of Cali punk rock groups (NOFX, Lagwagon, Swingin' Utters), the Gimmes have a pretty straightforward formula: choose tunes, strip 'em down to bare melody and restructure with a three-chord backbone. It works like a charm. The doo-woppy chord progressions lend themselves to a fizzy jump-up electric guitar attack, and some covers are improvements on the originals? Good clean fun.