Review: Me First And The Gimme Gimmes

Me First and the Gimme Gimmes
“Take a Break”
(Fat Wreck Chords)

You know all those Weezer songs that you downloaded where they do pop-punk covers of classic rock/oldies/show tunes? Yeah, well that wasn’t Weezer. No, those were by the Gimmes, everyone’s favorite cover band (excluding any act that does Bananarama). This time around, the boys from the Bay (and Joey Cape and the two guys from RKL who are all from Santa Barbara [805 represent]) are covering all of your favorite R&B cuts from the 80s and 90s (with the exception of “Nothing Compares 2 U” by Sinead O’Connor, which is more of adult contemporary).

Boyz II Men’s “End of the Road” begins with a sincere, soulful whisper until the raucous chorus launches the track into a poppy frenzy full of melodies and guitars. “Where Do Broken Hearts Go?”, “Oh Girl”, and “Crazy” all get similar treatments, as the Gimmes do what they do best throughout.

That said, “Isn’t She Lovely”, “Ain’t No Sunshine” and “Mona Lisa” really leave a certain something to be desired, as very little originality flows through the collective veins of these generic renditions. If you think originality has nothing to do with covers, then you’ve clearly never heard Me First sing “Sloop John B” before. Maybe “Take a Break” isn’t as timeless as their first few releases, but you’ll never listen to “Natural Woman” the same way again. Which, I’m sure you’ll agree, is a good thing.