I really didn’t care about this 7″ until the waning seconds of the title cut, wherein the members of Useless ID, along with Teenage Bottlerocket’s Ray Carlisle, sing the line, “Hey Brandon, are you hanging with the Ramones?” At that point, I got instantly teary-eyed, only to move into full-blown crying when someone did a Brandon Carlisle count-off.
Brandon Carlisle, former drummer for Teenage Bottlerocket and brother of singer/guitarist Ray Carlisle, died earlier this year, and it was a sad goddamn thing. This song’s an excellent tribute to both the enduring legacy of the Ramones — name-checking as it does the band’s classic albums and kind of running down their classic rock contemporaries in the snotty way only pop punk can — and Carlisle himself.
Given the legacy of Teenage Bottlerocket and their Ramones-core sound — especially the way Brandon’s count-offs so nicely took from Joey Ramone’s “1234!” — this is just as much a tribute to the drummer’s sense of fun and enthusiasm. Even if there wasn’t the explicit “Dedicated with love to the memory of Brandon Carlisle” on the rear of the 7″ sleeve, anyone who knows pop-punk these days would know what the song was about.
The rest of the songs are kind of all right, I suppose. “Tension” is verging on Foo Fighters’ alt rock, and the two acoustic numbers left me bored, even with the political lyrics preaching revolution and action. Billy Bragg and early Against Me! did folk-punk right, but pretty much everything else leaves me cold. The bumper sticker politics come too close to Anti-Flag outtakes to really be effective at all.
The audio is crisp and clean and mixed pretty evenly. It doesn’t leap out of the speakers, but it’s not like trying to listen over a phone line, either.
Nice pink vinyl on this single, with the standard lightweight Fat Wreck cardboard sleeve.
“We Don’t Want the Airwaves” is available from Fat Wreck Chords. It’s limited to 508 copies on colored wax.