Music » CD Reviews

The Assmen

Everyone's Against Us (Ass-Bastard)

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Formed in Erie, Pennsylvania, three years ago, the Assmen are a scruffy punk trio who don't play their instruments particularly well, but know how to be offensive. Not including this album, the Assmen have released one full-length (1998's Enema Nation) and several 7-inches (including 1998's "Burgerbreath"). They have a fan club called the Ass Army, a label called Ass-Bastard Records, and a singer-guitarist named Joey Assman. And in addition to thanking their supporters on the liner of Everyone's Against Us, they offer the following to their foes: "And fuck off to all the pinheads who gave us shit."

Admittedly inspired by old-school punk rock bands such as the Ramones, the Sex Pistols, the Dead Boys, and the Dickies, the Assmen differ from their idols in one specific way. The bands the Assmen emulate usually had an anti-establishment agenda of sorts and railed against social injustices. The Assmen, on the other hand, have other concerns that are far less provocative. We're Against Everyone might be a more appropriate title for this album, as the group expresses its hatred for everyone from the homeless ("Get a Job") and the police ("Cops on Drugs") to pedophiles ("Peewee's Playhouse"). It also resorts to misogynistic tactics in the track "Female Thing." The band is better off on the covers; it skewers Nancy Sinatra's "These Boots Were Made for Walking" and, thanks to Joey Assman's snarling vocals, sounds particularly rough and rowdy on the Meatmen's "Rock 'N' Roll Juggernaut." If they could find a way to write songs as inspired as the covers, the Assmen might be something other than a faceless neo-punk act trying to recapture the glory days of 1978.

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