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Album Review: Me First And The Gimme Gimmes - 'Go Down Under'

17 April 2011 | 9:19 pm | Staff Writer

Classic Gimmes. Solid, fast and lots of fun.

More Me First and the Gimme Gimmes More Me First and the Gimme Gimmes

Anyone who has followed Me First And The Gimme Gimmes will know that unpredictability is certainly not something that the band strive for. With every release, you are going to get exactly the same thing - fast, cheerful punk-rock covers, breathing life into songs that nobody listens to anymore. With that in mind, the Go Down Under EP delivers the same energy and craftmanship you would expect from the supergroup as they take 5 questionably chosen Australian classics and give them the Gimmes treatment.

Anyone who saw The Gimmes on their recent tour may have remembered the band verbally tearing apart INXS, and proceeding to cover "Never Tear Us Apart" in what they then described as 'taking a terrible song and turning it into a mediocre song.' That was evidently the main goal for the EP, and it's refreshing to know that they don't like the songs much either. They do however, manage to make the songs quite a lot better. although Except for "Never Tear Us Apart", it still sucks. It's just not a good song, and I don't even think The Gimme Gimmes can fix that.

Borrowing the opening riff from Black Flag's classic "Rise Above", "All Out Of Love" (Air Supply) is a perfect suitor to the Gimmes style and is perhaps the strongest track on the record. Paying homage to one of our earliest rock groups, the Gimmes' take on "Friday on my Mind" by The Easybeats is again a lot of fun, swapping out cheesy vocal runs for some great classic guitar tone.

One of the most terrible songs to come out of Australia, "Have You Never Been So Mellow" is improved in a big way in the hands of Me First. Bearing a lot of similarity to early 90's Green Day, this version will leave significantly less people wanting to kill themselves. "I've Done Everything For You" doesn't quite grab me in the same way as the others do, but adds quite a bit of anger to the mix, with a nice "Fuck You" thrown in at the end for good measure. 

And that's about it. The EP weighs in at a not-so-hefty 12 minutes, so if record shops are asking more than a dollar a minute, you'd best be trying to haggle.

All the surprises that you are ever going to get from a Gimme Gimmes record are contained within the tracklisting on the back of an album. Likely, you are going to despise at least 80% of the originals that they tackle with their energetic, cheerful brand of punk-rock. Go Down Under is absolutely no exception, with five covers of mostly  woeful Australian classics that even your parents have probably come to hate, but songs that have been significantly improved with minimal work by the punk rock supergroup. As their first release in three years, it would have been nice for something a little more meaty, but a solid release nonetheless. Definitely worth a listen if you're a Gimme Gimmes fan.

1. Never Tear Us Apart  - INXS
2. All Out of Love - Air Supply
3. Friday on My Mind - The Easybeats
4. Have You Never Been Mellow - Olivia Newton-John
5. I've Done Everything for You - Rick Springfield