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Vandals: Look What I Almost Stepped In...

A Quick Laugh

By Raja Mohan

Led by Dave Quackenbush, the Vandals, one of Southern California’s staple punk-rock bands, recently released Look What I Almost Stepped In... following the mildly-acclaimed album Hitler’s Bad, Vandals Good. Formed in 1981, the band has changed from a hardcore punk band to one that caters to the new generation of skater punks. Though it’s common for punk bands to break up and reform, the Vandals have been playing for almost two decades with its original band members. The Vandals have waived offers to sign on with major record labels and have gained fame by constantly touring and producing albums every two years.

On the new album, however, the Vandals still continue to produce fast-paced catchy tunes such as “Behind the Music.” This song considers how a band signs a record deal and hopes to get airplay in order to become famous. Surprisingly, though, the Vandals appear to be heading down that road, as some alternative rock stations have aired the single “Jackass.”

Other tracks such as “Sorry, Mom and Dad” and “Get a Room” are memorable for their hilarious lyrics, a characteristic of the Vandals’ music. In “Sorry, Mom and Dad,” the lead singer preaches that his fans should say sorry to their parents for never listening to them and suffering in the end. An unforgettable line is, “Let me live my life! I’m going to go out drinking with my friends, have unprotected sex, pierce my nose and get a tattoo of a dragon on my neck.” In “Get a Room,” the lead singer mentions his disgust toward couples that publicly display affection by stating, “Get a room, we’ll all pitch in -- if you’ll go away.”

If you are interested in listening to a lighter Vandals sound or if you liked the previous albums, then this album is a must for your collection, as it embodies the unique Vandals style. This album is not a crossover album that other listeners might enjoy because the Vandals have not drastically changed their sound like the Offspring did in Americana (though Dexter Holland, the lead singer of the Offspring, does make a guest appearance by singing the backup vocals on one of the tracks). Nevertheless, the Vandals keep producing fleeting songs that give people a quick laugh.