Did Somebody Say Rock!?! 7” (Smilin’ Bob Records, 1999): Smilin’ Bob was a label that put out a few releases in the mid-late 90’s from Homewood, IL. Luckily, one of them was this 7” compilation featuring some of my favorite Chicago bands from that time period. The title of the comp is not meant to be misleading – this 7” is full of ROCK. Normally, I don’t like my punk to be rockin’, even a little. But, these songs are by bands that totally do it right.
Oblivion put out a huge amount of music in their time as a band and it all rocks to some degree. However, it’s all catchy, well written, and legitimately fun. This band pre-dates the similarly excellent Mexican Cheerleader.
Ambition Mission, by far the least rockin’-est band on this record, serve up a great cover of “The American in Me” by the Avengers. However, being true punkers, they substitute a “K” for the “C” in the title. This band is a precursor to such fine outfits as This is My Fist and Canadian Rifle, yet still is consistently overlooked. Do yourself a favor and get into it.
The Arrivals round of side A with a straight forward driving rock n’ roller called simply “Alright.” I love the Arrivals and have for a decade. They have changed considerably since I got into them, but they remain one of my favorite Chicago bands. That said, fans of the band’s most recent output may be in for a surprise with this one. It’s a lot more “Surf Riot” than it is “Blood Hits the Ground.”
Finally, The Mushuganas get the whole B side to themselves. And why shouldn’t they? This long running pop punk band turned rock n’ roll powerhouse was one of Chicago’s finest bands of the 90’s in my estimation. By this point they were already rocking more than they were pop-punking, but that doesn’t mean “Anytime” isn’t just as catchy as some of their early material. Prepare for a journey as there is a reason this track needs a whole side to itself.