F-Ups The F-Ups

The F-Ups are the worst kind of pre-packaged pabulum: catchy yet vacant and inauthoritative and destined for mainstream airwaves. The F-Ups are the safest possible denominator of punk rock. The band’s debut offers blanched representations of youthful rebellion with a now standard issue haircut and a uniformly non-threatening treatment of punk rock’s "question every possible dogma” ethic. It’s not so much that the music on the F-Ups’ debut is poor; it’s simply been done better and with more authoritative presence before. "Look At Your Son Now” is simply a numbskull’s rewrite of Social Distortion’s "Mommy’s Little Monster” with none of the conviction in the lyrics and a chord progression yanked directly out of Mel Bay’s Introduction To Punk Rock. Every part of this record is carefully measured for demographic success with 12-year-old tadpoles who just shaved their first mohawk; a point made painfully clear by a cover of Mott the Hoople’s "All The Young Dudes.” The guitars crunch where they need to, the drums hammer as required and just in case the band lets an obscenity slip there is an "Explicit Content” warning on the front cover of The F-Ups. As pop punk goes, the record is a fun listen even if it is fluffy. If nothing else, the F-Ups have made punk rock safe for overbearing parents everywhere. (Capitol)