Jose Canseco jokes are too easy – the ‘shooting fish in a barrel’ of sports comedy – but over the years he’s essentially been reduced to a pariah, and anyone willing to admit they ever owned a piece of Canseco memorabilia must have guts, or a complete lack of shame. That said, Banquets play a mean tune; it’s simple, but it hits the spot.
Once “377” segues into “Just Me and My Canseco Rookie Card”, Top Button, Bottom Shelf has already hit its stride. And it hardly relents. Melodic punk bursts forth for the next twenty-three minutes and every gang-vocal chorus rings with unfiltered enjoyment. The entire record is steeped in an infectious energy and it develops into Banquets’ ultimate trump card. The best songs are tight and vitriolic, while the weaker – there really are no weak tracks – are tight and dependable. Batting 2, 3 and 4 are the album’s biggest hitters and although the others don’t disappoint, they never again regain that high.
What Banquets does best is remind us of the lighter side of melodic punk; it’s not pop, but it’s hopeful and even when Travis Omilian is spitting f-bombs on “Fireplug”, you know these are the kind of guys that ‘get it’. ‘It’ being punk, and ‘getting it’ being all about wearing your heart on your sleeve, sticking to what you know, and remembering that this shit should be fun.
02. Just Me and My Canseco Rookie Card
03. Forever Bender
04. Sound of Money
05. Best of Night of the Night
07. Heads Down, Thumbs Up
08. Unforgiven V
09. Sometimes a Wolf
10. Lips to the Ground
Run Time: 25:09
Release Date: August 22, 2011
Check out the song: “Best of Night of the Night”