Album 0176: Mad Caddies – Rock The Plank

Release Date: 2001
Genre: Ska/Punk

Tracklisting:

1. Shaving Your Life (02:06)
2. Mary Melody (03:09)
3. B-Side (02:58)
4. Days Away (03:44)
5. Bridges (02:41)
6. We’ll Start To Worry When The Cynics Start Believing (03:18)
7. Weird Beard (02:44)
8. Easy Cheese (02:13)
9. Hound Bound (03:38)
10. Depleted Salvo (02:59)
11. Chevy Novacaine (02:39)
12. Booze Cruise (02:25)
13. All American Badass (02:41)

Total Length: 37:16

This album is the odd man out in the Caddies catalogue. Plenty of people worried from this album that the band was dropping their ska stuff in favor of only a punk sound, like plenty of the late 90s ska bands were doing around this time. They still play it on here, but it takes up a smaller percentage than their previous stuff. However, they actually do stuff other than those two, and it’s this experimentation that sets the band apart from here on and really gives them their own flair. Shaving Your Life is a straight punk song and harder than anything they had done up to this point, but not really a fair start to the album as far as what to expect. I still enjoy the song though.

Mary Melody is a brilliant song though, combining punk and a bit of throwback style with the guitar and muted horns into a really neat blend. The chorus is incredibly catchy, and the end of the song is pretty fantastic as well. B-Side is back to pretty much only punk. I really like the chorus, it’s the only thing that stands out to me. Days Away is mostly reggae with some punk near the end, it’s definitely a pretty cool song but they’ve done others like it that I enjoy more.

Bridges is a pretty angry song and probably the best punk-only song so far. It’s short, the vocals stick with you and make you want to sing along, and the production compliments these aspects well. We’ll Start To Worry When The Cynics Start Believing is fun, even if I didn’t like it the first few times I heard it. It’s an odd piece, not really experimental but there is still nothing else like it on the album. Speaking of experimental, Weird Beard is here to fill that niche entirely. A pirate-themed song (accordion and all) it’s an incredibly fun song and it’s no surprise that it has been pretty much a live staple of the band since it was introduced. It’s insanely cool and I have no idea how you wouldn’t want to sing along to it.

Easy Cheese is just a plain, fun pop-punk song. It’s not entirely imaginative, any other band of the time could have had these lyrics so the song is just a really good guilty pleasure. Hound Bound has very cool guitars in the intro, the chorus is catchy, and I like that they are incorporating the horns into a punkier song, but it does go on just a tad too long. Depleted Salvo has some cool vocal lines, but this overall really isn’t the Caddies’ style and I get tired of the track after a minute or so.

Chevy Novacaine is kind of the same deal, but it feels shorter and the chorus is better than the last track. Booze Cruise is much like the last two tracks as well, about on par with the previous one. All American Badass turns the album on its head by being a polka song. The band still gets punk in the chorus, but the infusion of polka is incredibly refreshing, and again this is another song that has become a live staple. It’s just too much fun. The great songs on this album are some of the best the band has done, but they are marred by the average songs. If the band had combined these great songs with their previous EP, it probably would have been my favorite album of theirs, but as it stands it’s very middle-of-the-road.

Final Rating: 8/10

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