Skate punk is a genre built on the foundations of a very specific sound, particularly by those who helped to shape it in the 90’s. You know all the big names: NOFX, Strung Out, Pennywise, etc. Over the course of 20+ years many bands have popped up and joined the skate punk party, but very few have managed to push the boundaries and join the ranks of being a genre-defining act. Finnish act You Nervous? definitely falls into the former category of bands. The latter, however… not so much.
That isn’t to imply that Furry Tales, the band’s debut album, is a tired and repetitive listen. As the opening combo of songs (“Just Say” and “Words Unspoken”) prove, You Nervous? have plenty of songwriting chops and they kick off the album very well. But as the album progresses, the excitement begins to wear off (admittedly, “Dreamer” picks up some of that middle-of-the-album slack) and next thing you know it’s just another skatepunk album with a hidden ska-tinged track.
A quick look at the band’s Facebook page reveals that three of the four members of You Nervous also play in a band called Flink 82. A quick Google search of Flink 82 reveals that they are, in fact, a blink-182 tribute band. I mention this because You Nervous? let their blink-182 influence hang out. This isn’t a slight against the band- I only mention it because it gives you an idea of what kind of pop punk these guys play. It’s snotty (just give a listen to “I’m Special”) but it’s also very slick and well recorded. There’s a bit of NOFX and Face to Face here, too, but the high production value and nasally vocals practically scream “Dude Ranch rules!”.
Like everything in the genre that has come before, Furry Tales is consistent, which is both its greatest strength and its biggest fault. Young audiences who are just discovering skatepunk will be thrilled to have a new gen band to call their own, but unless you still get excited by the idea of new Pennywise material, older fans of the genre could sit this one out. I’m not saying it’s not worth your time to check out, but don’t expect it to be like the first time you heard Don’t Turn Away, or even Cheshire Cat.
3.5 / 5 – Stream the album below.
RIYL: blink-182 (circa 1997-1999), NOFX, Face to Face