Frontside Five : No Pegs

Frontside Five: No Pegs

Frontside Five: No Pegs
Label: (self released)
Release Date: 2004
Review Date: 10/14/04

I have to tell you that I was skeptical of this release before I even got a chance to listen to it. The first thing I thought of was that it was no longer 1984, so the idea of skate rock seemed a little silly in these days of diluted skate culture for the masses. Choosing the Vision Street Wear logo as their sigil certainly didn’t help. It could also be considered an ill omen for a band to have “Denver Sk8 Punk” religiously attached to their name when the liner notes don’t actually include any pictures of the band skating. So, I was greatly surprised that No Pegs didn’t completely suck when I popped it in. “Curb Check Part I” immediately made me think of the Faction before I even realized that No Pegs contains a cover of Skate and Destroy. No Pegs is s mixed bag. At best it emulates the Faction not only in musical style but in vocals as well. At it’s worst, it’s kind of generic skate punk that doesn’t really stick with you. There’s a lot of irony in the fact that they write a song condemning Gator while proudly waving the logo that is associated with the beginning of his downfall and a lot of the bad perceptions of the industry in the 80’s.

Speaking of the Gator song, I don’t know if it’s possible to have a funny song about a murderer, but Gator has some good lines. “Gator – can’t skate a bowl. Gator – can’t come to our show. You used to do a salad grind. Now it’s toss the salad time. Used to wear knee pads to skate. Now you wear them out on dates.” Predictably, Gator contains audio samples lifted from the movie Stoked. Skip one track to “Surf Song,” a unimaginatively titled but amusing instrumental with a tribute to Fast Times in incidental vocals. It’s quite good and actually fades out too soon. It’s pretty funny, and it seems to be a dig at wannabe emulation of surf culture. Some of the song titles hint at other humorous possibilities such as “Ramp Plans” and “Session Lesson.” Ultimately, Frontside Five choose a mostly serious approach that is a little hard to swallow with a straight face. How mad can you really be at BMX bikes, and if you’re that pissed, shouldn’t it be no BMX, without or without the pegs?

Don’t get me wrong. Fronside Five seem to have a strong sense of conviction. There are some good tracks on here. One that really stands out is called “Souls for Sale” and “Ramp Plans” is pretty good too. There’s Surf Song again and Road Rash, which is probably the only time you’ll want to hear the words “masonite burns on my nuts.” Thankfully, “D-Town” isn’t about Dogtown. My guess is that Fronside Five put on a pretty good live show and shouldn’t necessarily be judged by this release, or review for that matter. Guys (and gal) I’ll be sure to let you know if I make to Denver for my beat down. But hey, what’s skate punk without a little bit of antagonism?

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