Quickly Rapidly Efficiently & Fast[CD]
'That's what punk rock is all about, being able to release all the societal pressure that constantly kicks your butt,' Adam Rossi says of working with Cousin Dale, a pop-punk band formed in 1994 by Frank Pascual and Brian Pomon. Later adding Mike Cerruti and John Galindo, the band has released Quickly, Rapidly, Efficiently, and Fast, their first full-length album in a decade. On Quickly, Rapidly, the band proves that maturity and punk can coexist without sacrificing a thing. Early on, the band, like many of their peers, was fueled by youthful energy and love of contemporary punk like Green Day. Cousin Dale sharpened their chops in classic Bay Area venues. It was here that Cousin Dale developed a large grassroots following for their over-the-top live shows and down-to-earth personalities. This early period is reflected in the album's catchy opener, Punk Rock Show. 'It's probably my favorite song on the new record', says Pomon, who penned the tune. 'It goes into the story of how we got started as a band, we mention a few of the old clubs we used to hang out and play in, and we give props to the fans that have been with us to cheer us on." Ten years into the game, some things about Cousin Dale are immutable. 'We may be a lot fatter, grayer, and creakier,' jokes Pascual, 'but as far as playing music, nothing has changed. We all have a great time and it's still a blast to get in that room for a few hours a night and jam.' As much as spotlessly radio-friendly numbers like Punk Rock Show acknowledge the band's tenacious history, the album also spotlights their ability to tackle the present and future. Rossi added keyboards to the album, a smooth complement that distinguishes Cousin Dale from standard punk trios. The band has matured in other ways, though. "Our music really now reflects the fact that as musicians and as individuals we know what we want to do, and how we want to play, and we won't waste our time doing anything different. We've become a little more no-nonsense while still trying to keep our sense of humor and charm," says Cerruti. That humor and charm enables the band to take on issues with gravitas in ways that don't bog down the album. Wasted, a song about Hurricane Katrina, doles out the sadness of the tragedy-both the man-made and natural parts-while also tapping into an anger that ultimately infuses the song with relentless energy. Though Cerruti counts his kids' favorite music among his influences, the band's songwriting is more grown-up than ever. "One thing I've noticed about our song-writing is that we're definitely tackling some issues that are bigger than Star Wars, Gwen Stefani's hotness, or Bob Ross's artwork," says Cerruti, remembering earlier material. "The songs are shorter, stronger and more to the point now,' says John Galindo. 'In 10 years this band has gone through 3 kids, 2 divorces and 8 years of George W. Bush, we don't have the time or energy to f*** around anymore." Not f***ing around means not chasing fame when there's music to be made. As Pomon says, "We're just not focused on a deal from a major label now, and ironically we are a better band for it. Musically and lyrically, the song writing is just better. If you're playing music because you want a record deal, you'll likely never get one. If you're playing music because it's in your heart, because it hurts you to not play, because it's your passion, then you are really playing music. Cousin Dale plays music because when we don't play it hurts." Now that's punk.
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