In the giant pool of US styled punk rock, NOFX, Green Day and Lagwagon could collectively sue the Billabong pants off every pogoing punk-pop band on moderate rotation on MTV2. The reason why these veterans don’t is out of pure courtesy. As long as you’ve got a guitar and chords, you’re at least working towards it.
Bournemouth three-piece getAmped paddle firmly in this pool. They pride themselves on their DIY ethic. This album was entirely self-funded, self-produced and released via their own label RNT. I admit that deserves taking off my discoloured Volcom cap. But does producing the backing music for Fame Academy earn such respect from us?
“I don’t give a fuck about celebrity, about the models and the movie screens” Tim Parkhouse sneers on Celebrity. NOFX bassist/vocalist Fat Mike should call his lawyers now. But what separates getAmped from the rest, apparently, is the “trans-genre post-hardcore surf-emo” they conjure up. “Think of a grown-up’s Blink 182 with undertones of The Police and Jimmy Eat World“. Or even better: “The best rock trio since the Police”. Hardly. All from the horse’s mouth, I assure you.
If they’re not ripping NOFX, everything goes all Linkin Park – notably in second track In the Dark. The samples, the brewing guitars, sing-along crescendo follow the blueprint to a T. New single Too Far reeks of tried-and-tested emo so much that you smell the moist tears off their Rip Curl-sponsored shirts. It’s more juvenile than Feltham Young Offenders. The only ounce of variation appears on Alive, which welds anthemic punk with drum n’ bass while Parkhouse gives an anti-capitalist rant. LeonTrotsky he ain’t.
Which is where I park my tongue and return to the golden rule of reviewing which says judge things on what they are, not what they aren’t. Or something like that. Ho! Let’s back up a moment. I’ve just spent the last six paragraphs saying exactly what it is. So what isn’t Phoney Society? 1. Original. 2. Varied. 3. Worth your money. To name but a few.
But before an army of skaters come throwing their Element decks at me, ask yourself this. If those ‘sell outs’ Green Day can innovate progressively, why can getAmped and the rest of the pool, dribble out the tripe they do and claim to be different? If you take out the ‘society’ in the title, then I’d say it was a fitting one. I won’t finish with anything eloquent. Instead I’ll keep it blunt and simple: what a load of rubbish.