- The Mr. T Experience
There's nothing sadder than the sight of an aging punk hacking out his hits onstage, leather jacket and mohawk wilting under the weight of too many run-throughs of his three-chord thunderbombs. Thankfully, Mr. T Experience majordomo Dr. Frank, a degree-carrying expert in the fields of Pop-Punk Evolution and Growing Old Gracefully, determinedly avoids this cliché.
A two-decade veteran of the same Bay Area scene that spawned Green Day and Operation Ivy, the good doctor maintains his relationships- and culture-obsessed cred by continuing to tweak songs so that both his original fans and their children can appreciate them. The recently released Yesterday Rules is punk the way Elvis Costello's early albums were punk: melodic acoustic guitar and Frank's snotty vocals on "Big, Strange, Beautiful Hammer"; a jangly-chorded, piano-laced sound on "Fucked Up on Life." In fact, while its title suggests nostalgia, Rules relies less on the band's previous Ramones facsimiles and more on nuance: The bubbly organ and harmonies on "The Boyfriend Box" scream late-'60s mod rock, and "Shining" is a raving rockabilly speedball.