Randy is a band that has been around and they seem to change up their sound with each subsequent disc; if individuals were looking for a style approximating The Mars Volta (as evidenced by the similar artwork, they will be disappointed). Randy starts off “Randy The Band” with a pop-punk track that is influenced by bands like The Dickies and The Lillingtons; that is to say, music that is perfect for the radio but with enough of a punk sneer to keep it interesting. “Razorblade” is even more catchy than “Punk Rock High” and also marks the second time in as many years as a band rides the success of a weapon-oriented track (the last one being “Switchblade” by Lars Frederiksen and the Bastards).
“Better Than Art” is a little frightening in the sense that it starts off in nearly the same way as “Razorblade”; Randy is mature enough to steer away slightly from pure repetition and only ties the two tracks together with similar choruses. In fact, some of the Spartan arrangements that allow Stefan to shine are influenced by classic acts like The Replacements. Moving around the halls of pop-punk fame to reflect a Ramones/Misfits sound for “Evil”, Randy throws in just enough in the way of different sounds to keep individuals listening. The band is smart enough to end the vast majority of their songs well before the two and a half minute mark; what really sinks Randy at times during the disc are those tracks (like “Bahnhof Zoo”) that try to hang on for a period that is untenable. After “Bahnhof Zoo”, Randy proves that this minor issue will not wreck them; as they insert yet another new sound (a rockabilly sound) into the mix.
“I Raise My Fist” does not have anything explicitly new to add to the mix, but is done in such a catchy way that individuals will be locked in for a few more minutes purely by the band’s sincerity on the track. “Red Banner Rockers” ties together Green Day and The Clash and is the perfect late-disc track for the band, as it has enough energy to keep listeners listening. Randy may just be one of the only bands to come out with a disc that has so many track (in this case, 15) and not need to cut down on the number of songs here. “Randy The Band” is a great update to Randy’s sound and will keep them in the public eye for years longer.
Top Tracks: Razorblade, Teenage Tiger
Randy – Randy The Band / 2006 Fat Wreck / 15 Tracks / http://www.randytheband.com / http://www.fatwreck.com / Reviewed 11 January 2006