Surfin’ Mutants Pizza Party: ‘The Death of Cool’ Album Review
Like a lot of people, we can sometimes overlook the dedication and quality of a record label. Now, here on MF, we’ve been known to take a shine to labels such as Venn Records and Lefse Records. And sometimes it’s a credit to the label themselves when you discover so many great bands all under one name.
I came across the Austin-based indie record label Fleeting Youth Records back in 2013 through Mumblr’s EP, White God/Black Jesus, which was one of my personal favourite releases of the year. Since then, I went on to adore Mumblr‘s full length debut, Full of Snakes, and now consider myself a fan of Punk-Rock three-piece, Slippertails.
Yes, many cool acts.
But, I then encountered Fleeting Youth Records export, Surfin’ Mutants Pizza Party, and their latest release, The Death of Cool, which may be the coolest release of them all. But then again, it is at the same time, the death of all things cool.
(It should be noted that this reviewer has heard some pretty cool sounding stuff that has been released post ‘death of cool’ and all future ‘Cool’ music is now ‘Post-Cool‘.)
Imagine if Stephen King was this really cool guy all of a sudden – like James Dean cool – and he adopted the moniker of his ‘Gunslinger’, and became some playboy hiding behind pizza stains and cigarettes stubbed out in Coke cans. Then you have the one-man-band, Surfin’ Mutants Pizza Party.
The Death of Cool:
The first two tracks, ‘The Intro’ and ‘Kraken’, are Rock ‘n’ Rollin slides of cool, which speed nicely along into track three, ‘Werewolf Class of ’77’, which is like a graveyard romp through high-school, and if I’m honest, a little reminiscent of Minneapolis duo, Some Pulp.
On to ‘I Need a Cigarette’, which is the albums “slow jam”, and it’s awesome. It shows off Surfin’ Mutants Pizza Party vocals, dare I compare them to the sound of early Green Day (in the best way possible – honest).
It’s just a slow suicide, but I’m going to need another cigarette – Isn’t that always the way? But the verses force you to wave your £3.99 skull lighter back and forth, until the chorus thrusts you into a triumphant sing-a-long that you really need before you finish off that second packet of fags for the night.
‘Brain Avenue’ is the king of cool on this album. It’s short, it’s snappy and it’s catchy, and it’s not even sugary, no, it’s dirty and bloody and obviously where all the cool kids at school end living. This is more ‘Bedroom Punk‘ than Skate Punk, so roll over in bed, put on your shades and light up.
The second half of the album doesn’t seem as ‘cool’ as the first to me, but then again, how can you follow up ‘Brain Avenue’?
‘Just Another Slacker Anthem’ seems a little too long to be a true ‘slacker anthem’ and ‘Noodles & Energy Drinks’ is perhaps a little too laid back for my personal taste. But these tracks do break up the album nicely, and it is relaxing to reflect on that slacker lifestyle well.
Track nine, ‘Can’t See Straight’, simply hasn’t “got the time to figure it out” because we’re all too cool smoking our cigarettes in the shade in your favourite dive bar. And whilst we’re enjoying a bevy, we’re listen to title track, ‘The Death of Cool’ bashing cool over the head with some satisfying rattling underground bedroom Surf guitar. Overall, it carries a very cool basement dwellers vibe – so, ironically, it allows cool to hang on for just one more track.
‘The Gun You Stole From Me’ is another chilled out track which ends the album pleasantly. It doesn’t try to hard and it’s not messy, but is it cool? Well yes, it’s cool. The whole second half may be on a slightly lower level of cool then the first, but the little guitar solo at the end of ‘The Gun You Stole From Me’ is certainly cool enough to make up for it all.
So their you have it. So much cool that cool died.
This album and this artist are the audible definition of Punk-Rock from a bedroom. Be brave and witness The Death of Cool, because it’ll never be the same again.
To purchase the album and check out previous releases, check out Surfin’ Mutants Pizza Party’s bandcamp profile, or to get your hands on a cassette tape (#RetroMuch?) and keep up-to-date with any updates, check out his Facebook page.