The Simpletones: I Have A Date

Simpletones: I Have a Date

The Simpletones: I Have A Date
Label: Refocre / Posh Boy
Release Date: 2003
Recording Date: 1979-
Review Date: 2003

The Simpletones, you ask? How did a bunch of snotty teenagers come up with the perfect name for the perfect low-fi punk/pop band? Sound like yet another one of the current crop of scene darlings that is maybe just a little too earnest and self aware? Well, you are wrong my friend. The Simpletones started in ’78 at the average age of 17, and they may well have been idiot savants. Outside of California, the only way the rest of us ever heard of them was through the obscure Beach Blvd compilation, again that’s obscure for the Midwest, I think there were two copies in the whole state of Illinois. Beach Blvd offered a glimpse into the Sound of the Simpletones. That sound was pure snot-pop-punk being belted out slightly off key with doubled vocals and sarcastic overtones. The subject matter was an ironic and moronic piss take on traditional teen themes like the “Tiger Beat Twist” “and the masterpiece “Kristy Q” which features one of the best lines ever – “It’s not the way you dance. It’s not your Wrangler pants, that make me feel the way I do about you.” Apparently, this was written about a real girl. Quaaludes and teen romance reign supreme. Seemingly innocent and na√Øve songs like the “I have a date,” which is pretty much the only one without overt sarcasm, couple with cracking voices made you want to figure out what the heck the deal was with this band, and more importantly, scour the record bins for additional releases, which unfortunately were not available, around, or were stuck in California, where “they say the chicks are really nice, and the cars, they go so fast. And the beach, it’s just the most. And the surf is really wild. I wish that I could stay all my life, in California.” That may sound inane, and it is, but not until you’ve heard it dripping from the voice of the Simpletones. Beach Blvd was re-released on CD sometime in the nineties, and made a very brief appearance for a while. If you didn’t snatch it up when you first saw it, it wasn’t around when you went back for it. The CD release had an expanded track list that only made you realize what you were missing, like a disco cover of the Dickies “You Drive Me Ape” which is funny in and of itself since the Dickies were famous for turning pop culture songs into punk. I Have a Date appears to be the definitive collection for Simpletones. Essentially a punk rock dork session without being overly goofy, they loved singing about disco and occasionally dabbled in traditional punk themes. Basically, the Simpletones are the band you wish you started when you were in high school, and amazingly it ages well. The only criticism is lack of visual and factual information about the band, because let’s face it, this was the perfect place to present that. What you get is some random short quotes from various members, on black and white picture, and the original time span – (78-79). What’s missing is a discography, flyers, orignal artwork, etc. What is included are two extra songs by The Klan, featuring an ex-Simpletones member. They seem like a direct progression, although the innocent charm is definitely gone. I Have a Date should bring a smile to even the most battle hardened tough-guy-liberty-spike veteran or alt music snob. Can’t find it? Order direct from Posh Boy’s crappy web store, where you can also pick up the (re?) re-released Beach Blvd. Hell, Robbie Fields will even answer your email.

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