The first shock that I had when first listening to the disc is that the style of this disc had nothing to do with Pan Pipes, but with steel pan drums. Nevermind the drum is featured prominently on the front cover, I just usually stick the disc in and let it go; one thing that individuals first hear about the band is that it sounds almost like a midi version of the classic Ramones songs – “Blitzkrieg Bop”, “Teenage Labotomy”, “I Wanna Be Sedated” and “Sheen is a Punk Rocker” all start off this disc. For the most part, the tracks are instrumental with only the hooks being what transfers from the original to the re-interpretation of the tracks.
This simply shocking thing about this album is that everything is done by Tracy; there are so many diverse sounds present on each of these tracks and for them to all be done by the same individual is nothing less than amazing. These songs completely capture the overall sound and even runtime of the original Ramones tracks; fourteen cuts only takes Tracy about a half-hour to complete. Even when Tracy takes a hard turn away from the original (during the reggae-like breakdown present during “I Wanna Be Sedated”) individuals will always know exactly what song it is that ey is covering. The height of this album has to be Tracy’s version of “Sheena is a Punk Rocker”. If an individual can imagine it, the drums present during this track actually feel like they are singing the song instead of just providing the backup for the (non-existent) vocals.
To keep the disc interesting, the presence of reinterpretative tracks (like the slowed-down tempo of “I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend”) keeps individuals on their toes and locks back in their focus for the next few tracks. There are a number of tracks on this album that have nothing in the way of vocals on them (“Rock N’ Roll High School”, for example) that would be furthered by maybe having a line or two of accompaniment. Still, this is pretty much the only charge that individuals can come up with against Tracy and eir stel pan drums. Everything captures the spirit of The Ramones perfectly on this album and really sets the stage of further discs of this same type of style; it may be a metal album of covers next, bu the one constant present is that Tracy has the skill to do whatever ey wants and succeed.
Top Tracks: Rockaway Beach, Blitzkrieg Bop
Pan For Punks – A Steelpan Tribute to the Ramones / 14 Tracks / 2005 Self / http://www.panforpunks.com / firstname.lastname@example.org / Reviewed 04 March 2006