I’m well aware that you are chemically imbalanced, but I’m the kind of guy who… likes a challenge

So I’ve been pumping the hip hop on the fPod for weeks now. I had loaded it with every De La Soul record and was mixing in and out Deltron 3030, The Gray Album, Danger Doom, some random MF Doom tracks and a bunch of others. But for the past week or so at home, I had to get some rock music going. I’ve decided, incidentally, that Leave Home is my favorite Ramones record. (More about that sometime.) Anyway, today I filled the fPod up with Ramones, Vandals, Strokes, Misfits and some others. The Vandals are cracking my ass up. Unfortunately, I know from the last time I loaded many of their albums on the pod, their schtick wears thin quickly. But I’ll enjoy the ride.

If you don’t know The Vandals, they’re sort of like if The Offspring were good. I know that doesn’t really sound like an endorsement because who would even care if The Offspring were good? And though I’d do my best to argue The Vandals are quite distinct, I know from experience that when I play them for someone the first time, they say, “They sound like that band… you know… ‘Pretty Fly For a White Guy’ band…”

Of course, The Vandals’s dude can sing and isn’t so off pitch that you can hear the auto-tuning on his voice.

They’re also sort of like the They Might Be Giants of the punk world. Or maybe Weird Al. They bypass the dark humor of other punk bands and just go for the yuks. There’s the classic “My Girlfriend’s Dead” where they imagine telling everyone that a girlfriend died instead of saying they broke up: “I say it’s leukemia… or sometimes bulemia.” Or their riff on Planet of the Apes ethics, “Ape Shall Never Kill Ape.” Or “The New You” with its timeless question: “Whatever happened to the girl I knew, she was just like you but way more into me?”

I recommend three of their albums, Hitler Bad Vandals Good, Live Fast Diarrhea and Look What I Almost Stepped In. The last is pretty ridiculous but has several amusing songs. The completely inappropriate “Fourteen” among them. Sample lyric: “Just a hug and a sigh from a law-abiding guy tonight.”

Well my laughs may be done after typing all that out. Back to the Misfits.