Posted on: July 30, 2007 Posted by: James McQuiston Comments: 0

Ben Weasel and his Iron String Quartet – These Ones Are Bitter/ 2007 Mendota Recording Co./ 14 Tracks / / /

After five years hiatus Ben Weasel former front man of legendary pop-punk bands Screeching Weasel and The Riverdales is back and has made damn sure that the wait was worth it with These Ones Are Bitter. Taking everything that only a master of the pop and punk craft could do Weasel gives us fourteen tracks of sugary-sweet mania starting us off with a little rush, “Let Freedom Ring,” a new anthem for all of us who have as he says “took it on the chin…” and came back to realize now that the monkey is off our backs it’s time to party! “In a Few Days” doesn’t slow the album down any and it keeps coming with “Got My Number,” which is in all respects classic Weasel.

The list of bands that Ben Weasel has influenced seems to go on and on and plenty of people are continually turned onto his brilliance. As it stands right now Ben Weasel will go down in the hierarchy of the punk world as one of its bright spots that seemed to have energy that went on for days and this is shown through and through in These Ones Are Bitter, tracks four “Happy Saturday,” continues to deliver followed “Sour All Over,” slows it down just a bit but still keeps you entertained and wanting more, more, more. “The First Day of Spring” and “Blue Is The Ocean” show maturity in Weasel’s lyrics which is a welcomed surprise. Coming back for another swing as the album rolls in to the final seven tracks “Affected By You” rekindles interest with another anthem about breaking away once and for all. Immediately following is “Jeanette,” a song that everyone can relate to with that one friend who as Weasel puts it “tried to understand – I don’t think anybody really can…”

“Addition by Subtraction,” is an interesting track. In it you can hear the direct influence lyrically and musically in much of today’s rising stars who have taken much of what they play I’m sure from acts like Weasels former band’s (Screeching Weasel/The Riverdales). These Ones Are Bitter wraps up with “Give It Time,” “Summer’s Always Gone Too Soon” and “In a Bad Place” three tracks that just like the rest of the album keeps your head bopping to the masterful beats. The final track “Only In November,” could be the only possible way to end such a momentous album. Giving us everything that we love and expect These Ones Are Bitter couldn’t end on a sweeter note. Ben Weasel and His Iron String Quartet deliver with all the things we hope for in a Weasel album; pop, punk, and a good time. If it takes another five years for Ben to release a new album as good as These Ones Are Bitter then it’s well worth the wait.

Top Tracks: Got My Number, The First Day Of Spring, Only In November

Rating: 9.5/10


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