The Austin Chronicle

Texas Platters

Reviewed by Daniel Mee, September 19, 2008, Music

The Van Buren Boys

Planet Kickass

The Van Buren Boys cram square miles of rambling lyrics into mere acres of sloppy punk rock. Planet Kickass touches on a number of different styles, including cow-punk, rocksteady, and folk, all spiked with the deadly cocktail of half-assed execution and verbal diarrhea that is the Boys' signature and ranges from annoyingly shrill ("Which Side") to annoyingly cliched ("Reggae") to annoyingly Irish ("Drinking Games"). Their most irritating songs are also the most interesting: Witness "Americampf," a political rant too lunkheadedly paranoid for a black-bandanna convention, and "Alwaysless," an uptempo rocker with lyrics culled from "The Raven." Poe-punk, of course. One must credit the Van Burens for taking risks and admit that, while such risks often leave the artist looking ridiculous, the ridiculous can serve as a legitimate source of amusement. In fact, that's pretty much rock & roll in a nutshell.


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