Friday, March 23, 2007

Witches with Dicks - Manual CD Review

Witches. With dicks. There’s something wrong with that. Not in the “oh my God, that’s so crass” type of way. In the “that’s totally an impossibility there, buddy” type of way. You see, witches are female. Witches with dicks are called Warlocks. Seriously, all the D&D and WoW (which stands for World of Warcraft if you're a non-dork) nerds tell me so. There can be no penises on witches because if there are, then they aren’t witches anymore. It’s like naming your band XOpen-Minded ChristiansX — it’s an oxymoron. But then again, I heard oxymorons are cool, so I’ll let it slide… but just this once.

Sporting an oxymoronic band name, having songs titled “Your Job Does Not Rock Balls”, “Fuck All Lindseys”, and “Skate or Die Two is Going to be Awesome when It Comes Out”, and being on Kiss of Death Records you could bet your next year’s paycheck that this band was either going to be playing straight up punk or hardcore. And if you would have made that bet, you most definitely would have won, which would have been ri-cock-ulously awesome for you... but probably would have sucked monstrously hard for the other guy. Anyways, Witches with Dicks fall into the Dillinger Four and Pennywise class of punk — straight ahead, a little grimy & gritty, and sporting just enough abrasive attitude to make you think about growing your faux-hawk back.

The one surprising thing about this release, unexpected or not, is the nature of the lyrics. With the Fall Out Boy-esque song titles, I expected to read through the lyrics and find amateurish attempts to be witty and tongue-in-cheek. In actuality, the lyrics are more standard punk fare than they are witty, dealing mostly with being true to yourself, not worrying about fitting in, rebelling against the establishment, and all those other great topics from the punk canon. Nothing too original, true, but it was not exactly what was expected and that's got to count for something.

With only 10 songs, most only clocking in at around 2 minutes, this release isn’t exactly a lengthy listen. When listening to punk bands this is sometimes a good thing, while at other times it is, well, kind of bad. Look at Rancid, for example, and how they cram 20 or more tunes on most of their releases. How many of those releases do you think could have used some fat cutting? About all of them. Then again, when a punk release only has about 15-20 minutes of music, it does feel a little lax. Heck, that’s not even enough music to play a full live set when you think about. Witches with Dicks would most definitely have benefited from bulking up this release with a few more songs, but as it stands, 20 minutes is pretty solid… especially considering if they added a few more songs they might have been even more apt to ape the Dillinger Four sound than they already do.

While not being a stellar straight up punk record, Manual also is far from bad. You could do a lot worse… like Good Charlotte worse, but it’s pretty much a given that any moron even contemplating buying Good Charlotte's albums wouldn’t know what to do with a real punk album like this anyways. Digressions aside, if you’re still listening to punk punk, then Manual is a solid addition to your rotation. No lies.

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