Album Review: Me First And The Gimme Gimmes – “Go Down Under”

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I think Me First and The Gimme Gimmes are one of those bands that you are either a fan of or you just don’t care for at all. There are many people out there that don’t like cover songs and Me First and the Gimme Gimmes are a cover band. Sure, they are also a punk rock super group, featuring members of Nofx, Swingin’ Utters, Lagwagon and No Use For a Name but they don’t play original songs so I’m sure they are a lot of people who couldn’t care less when they release something new.

I, on the other hand, was thrilled when I found out about this release. I’ve been a fan of Me First and the Gimme Gimmes since I first heard their version of Billy Joel’s “Only the Good Die Young” on Punk-O-Rama volume 2 back in 1996. It was very different from a lot of cover songs that I’d heard up to that point. So many bands do a note for note cover sung in a voice that sounds exactly like the original, and what is the point in that? I might as well go and listen to the original. Thankfully, as anyone who listens to The Gimme Gimmes knows, that is not what they do. Me First and the Gimme Gimmes have always changed the songs enough to make them stand out without losing the feel of the original. Whether it’s adding a punk rock intro, rewriting some of the lyrics or completely changing the songs genre, the Gimme Gimmes make their covers feel new and exciting and that is why I’m still listening to this band fifteen years later.

Each release by the band features music that has some form of a common thread, sometimes it’s the artist who had originally done the song, as in the case of their record singles. Sometimes it’s a specific type of music (country, R&B, etc.) as was the case with most of their albums and this time it’s regional. On “Go Down Under”, Me First and The Gimme Gimmes tackle songs by artists who are from Australia.

The first song is “Never Tear Us Apart”, originally done by INXS. To me, this is the worse song on the EP and it really has nothing to do with The Gimme Gimmes version of it. I have just always hated INXS and even a cover of one of their songs annoys me.

Next we have “All Out Of Love” originally by Air Supply. This one is cool and uses the intro from Black Flag’s “Rise Above” at the beginning.

Track three is “Friday On My Mind” by The Easybeats. This one also starts out with an intro from a punk song (I think) but I can’t place it. It’s also well done and since it was a faster song to begin with they don’t have to change the tempo as much.

Song Four is “Have you Ever Been Mellow” as sung by Olivia Newton John. Again, I’m pretty sure that they are riffing off of another song during this one but I can’t figure out which song it is. They change some lyrics on this one also. Great Job.

The Last song is called “I’ve Done Everything For You” and was sung by Rick Springfield. This one is sped up a bit and has a cool little solo towards the end.

If you like Me First and The Gimme Gimmes, this EP will be worth picking up. If you don’t, there is nothing on this release that is going to change your mind. Even with the inclusion of a song that I hate, I still really enjoyed this album and if anyone out there figures out which other songs they borrowed riffs from, let me know in the comments, Thanks.

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  1. PeK2/14/2011 7:01 AM | Permalink

    i bought this album on release and was only dissapointed by the lack of tracks as there were many i was expecting them to do ie men at works land down under. i love all thier work and recently bought 4 7″ recs and also have have a ball and have another ball but have yet to buy those and go down under on vinyl. over all my favorite band atm and still a class act 15 years on.

  2. elliott_kappa2/24/2011 7:43 PM | Permalink

    the point is,that they did a remix of “land down under” from men at work but it seems impossible to find it.I am leaving this reply in search of this song right now,so good luck!

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