Oh, God! Help Our Fans!

The Loose Nuts

Gotham Records, 1998

REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 12/14/1998

As 1998 draws to a close, I've found myself going through a still-growing pile of discs I've been sent to review, but just haven't had the time to get to. One such disc was a recent addition to the Pierce Archives (or, rather, the Pierce Archives "in box"), Oh, God! Help Our Fans! from The Loose Nuts.

I'd really like to tell you that this is a band that is worth watching, but with a nine-song disc that clocks in at under 25 minutes, it's really hard for me to form an educated opinion on the band. It's a good disc, but it's too goddamn short!

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A seven-piece punk ska band, you say? Imagine Green Day meets Madness, and you have an idea of what you're in store for with The Loose Nuts. Led by vocalist John, the band plows its way through eight originals (as well as a cover of "Tomorrow" from Annie) at a breakneck pace.

The music might not be polished to spit-shine - and in the case of this band, that works to their advantage. If songs like "Wishen" and "Glue In F#" had been studio-polished numbers, I don't think the overall feel would have been as good. For this band, hearing the break-neck drumming of Aren Nbutu, the frentic horns of Paulyard The Third, Maria DeLuca and Brian "Brain" Bonvisutto, the guitar madness of Ben Brewer and thumping bass of Tim Shaya makes the mood special.

The fact that the band doesn't take things too seriously is heard in numbers like "Fuhcup" and "Cigarette Bitch" - but while they're having a good time, they don't screw around when it comes to their music. One might not think that punk and ska would be the greatest mix. But The Loose Nuts make it work, even if their feet are a little more solidly planted in the world of punk rock. That's not to say that they let the ska side of their music slide; tracks like "Wishen" and "Roots" make sure that the ska elements are brought to the front.

But what I find difficult to accept is that Oh, God! Help Our Fans! is this short. I mean, did the band not have anything else to include on this album that was worth our time? I'd tend to think they did; why more material wasn't included is beyond me. The fact is, having more material would have helped to solidify people's opinions on this band - and I just don't have enough evidence in front of me to decide if The Loose Nuts are possibly the next alternative band to watch.

Oh, this is still an enjoyable album, and one that you'll be able to listen to several times in one sitting (hey, anything beats watching the Bears these days), but if The Loose Nuts want me to take them seriously, they'd be wise to put out longer albums in the future. After all, 25 minutes doesn't go as far as it used to.

Rating: B-

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© 1998 Christopher Thelen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Gotham Records, and is used for informational purposes only.