Album Review: Sit On It – “We Used To Be Progressive…We’ve Never Been Civilized”

For those who are otherwise unaware, Sit On It is the Fonz-irifically named one-man-band alter-ego of Clearwater, Florida-based Andy Wambach. I was admittedly a tad on the apprehensive side when the band’s “We Used To Be Progressive…We’ve Never Been Civilized” full-length ended up in my inbox. The continued decline in cost of above-average-quality recording software means that every Tom, Dick or Harry with a First Act guitar and Kmart Blue Light Special laptop can effectively become a one-man-band, digitally releasing decent-sounding (if poorly composed) music in prolific fashion. This ongoing technological revolution has the ability to be a real game changer for the music industry, but it also has the more-likely potential of flooding the market with lots and lots of crap.

Sit On It is not crap. (Feel free to use that sentence in your promotional material.)

Released by upstart Florida-based Pinhead Records, “We Used To Be Progressive…We’ve Never Been Civilized” is thirteen tracks of well-composed pop-punk that takes much of it’s influence from the skate punk era that hit nearly twenty years ago. It is beyond worthy of note that Wambach not only composes and plays all of the music, he does it pretty damn well.

Wambach has got the pop-punk formula all but nailed down. Plenty of “whoa-oh-ohs” abound, although there is a noticeable lack of genre-trademark anthemic, chantalong choruses. Vocally, Wambach evokes a hybrid of a young Dexter Holland and a young-ish Jordan Pundik. It’s that kind of voice that comes across as sincere but edges dangerously toward the line marked “annoying,” because I swear I hear a hint of Auto-Tune in the pitch changes from time to time. I probably can’t overstate how much I hope that’s not really Auto-Tune…

Vocal shortcomings aside, “We Used To Be Progressive…We’ve Never Been Civilized” is a hell of an enjoyable album. There is not a whole lot of extemporaneous bullshit; every song is tight and full of the type of pace and melody that make the pop-punk genre so great. A couple of the melodies (particularly the opening tones of album-opener “Patience Is Highly Overrated”) border on anthemic. The music is remarkably tight (there’s that word again), particularly when taken into account the amount of painstaking effort that one can envision Wambach dedicated to composing the instrumentation and lining up the takes. He even threw in some pretty awesome guitar fills (or at least solos), which seems like a little bit of good-natured piling on. All told, Wambach has the type of chops that could prove to result in some pretty prolific staying power (as evidenced in part by the fact that he’s released a new EP, “Save Face,” since “WUTBP…WNBC” debuted). And don’t worry…it won’t be crap.

3.67/5 stars

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