The Death of Your Perfect World (Victory Records)

Buried Alive

By: J. Bamforth

When I was writing music reviews for a newspaper in Seattle, WA, I had the chance to interview a ska band before one of their shows. They claimed that the market was overrun by what they deemed "cookie cutter ska." (You know, different bands that all sound the same with very little originality or individual style to be found in any one group. The stuff was all over the radio in early 1998.) Later I found out that this band, who will remained nameless and probably unsigned, was a combination of Real Big Fish's horn section with Gwen Stefani from No Doubt on vocals. So much for breaking the mold.

Tonight I address a threat more serious than the death of ska and more frightening than a nuclear holocaust: Cookie Cutter Punk.

I used to think that punk was an urban style of music characterized by anti-establishment sentiments, loud energetic guitar riffs, earth shaking drums and a hatred of all things mainstream. You can stop calling me naïve now. I have now found that to be in a "punk" band, one must listen to a couple of CDs, learn to play three power chords on the most expensive guitar you can find and scream unintelligibly about something (it doesn't really matter, and since people can't understand it they may think the lyrics are deeply insightful social comments).

Buried Alive's new CD The Death of Your Perfect World proves me right on all counts. I find nothing creative in any one of the twelve tracks that capture interest at all. The "songs" all run together into one big drone that ends in ringing feedback. If it wasn't for the display on my computer screen I would not be able to tell when one track ends and another begins.

On the plus side, I like the art work.

Anyway, The Death of You Perfect World is not an example of the urban art form once known as punk. It is another creation of the cookie factory that pumps out countless numbers of bands that sound exactly alike what, last time I checked, punk was revolting against in the first place. Maybe record companies should stop trying to think of different names for these bands and just start assigning them serial numbers. Now, Where did I put the new 1653-836A CD?