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DC Snipers - Missile Sunset

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Artist: DC Snipers

Album: Missile Sunset

Label: Dead Beat

Review date: Apr. 4, 2006

Five guys from around NYC or Jersey or someplace like that comprise the DC Snipers, pushing a tactless name, a hackneyed delivery, an unoriginal sound, and an agenda of compromised ideals … so why does it work? Ah, because they have learned what separates the men and women of the world from the poseurs and wannabes: they have mastered the art of playing beyond competence but sounding like they don’t care.

The Snipers play punk rock with trad-rock leanings, and they write songs that are really stupid. Stupid in that really awesome way that a lot of bands are too afraid to approach – and rightly so, because stupid can blow up in your face and actually make you look stupid, instead of smart guys knowing how to play stupid. (There’s also the kind of stupid that generates a band like Hoobastank, which defies all logic and reason, unless someone went and wrote some law of logic while I was asleep that says people like to eat what comes out of their bodies, but that, too, does not apply here.) The kings of smart stupidity in rock and roll are the Dictators. The DC Snipers are like that. They have a song called “Straight Razor” that rolls off a ’50s-style early rock riff, backing a chorus of “Straight! Razor! / Stray-ay-ayt! Razor!” It’s a passionate tale of cutting paper. And I can’t get it out of my head. They repeat this trick on “Soviet Union” and again on “Electric Chair from Saigon,” all yelled out with wide-eyed wonder of nothing in particular. They also have a song called “Get Awesome on the Street” and a sweet number called “All Humans are Garbage.” Such dumb sentiments have to succeed on style, and fortunately the way these guys rock is plenty stylin’, and not in the shave-bolts-in-your-head-for-irony, caught-with-a-mouthful-on-the-Internet type of style, but the kind that allows you to wolf down 30 White Castles before they get cold.

And really, that’s about it. No song here – even the ones that reach four minutes – wear out their welcome, as they’re performed with heat and take themselves just seriously enough to remember that the songs have to be catchy and memorable as well as snotty and tossed-off. In 27 minutes, it’s over, and you put it on again. That particular thrill hasn’t happened around Casa Mosurock in a long time, so this is as much a recommendation as a cause for celebration. Next time you see me, I’ll be getting awesome in the street

By Doug Mosurock

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