Chixdiggit – [Album]

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

While it has been six years since the band released an album of new material (the re-recorded, remunerated reissue of their debut doesn't count), it's clear in listening to Safeways Here We Come that Chixdiggit has no intention of changing or growing up. In just over sixteen minutes (which comes very close to being able to fit on a seven-inch, incidentally), Fat Wreck's original Canadian signing immortalizes the joys of ramen noodles, the woes and inherent comedy of bad haircuts, friends with awful pets, girlfriends, being horny, basketball and the malaise which follows experiencing a series of unfortunate events – in that order.

Sounds familiar doesn't it? Yup, it sounds exactly like the last two Chixdiggit albums; which were released six and eleven years ago, respectively.

The fact that nothing has changed for Chixdiggit in over a decade can be looked at two ways. On one hand, there's no way to deny that the band has aged well; through these seven tracks, singer KJ Jansen proves that his voice is still incredibly nasal and has all the strength of  a twenty-year-old, and the buzzsaw guitars, limber bass lines and tight drumming show that Chixdiggit hasn't lost a step in their time away. That's heartening and (to be fair) makes for a solid listening experience. On the other hand, nothing has changed about Chixdiggit's music in over a decade. The songs are still sophomoric and really, really fluffy when one remembers that the band's core members graduated from high school at least seventeen years ago. Not only that, but not one of the songs on this album breaks any new ground or leaves the impression that the group has anything new to say. Simply said, while most bands who haven't released anything new in a while would try to catch fans up on who they are in the present and showcase how they've grown over those years on a new record, Chixdiggit is just padding the same ground on Safeways Here We Come. The fact that this album seems to exist as a stitch in time presents something of a quandary: what plan does Chixdiggit have in mind now that they're back? Do they ignore the fanbase they've had now for the better part of twenty years, continue writing songs for sixteen-year-olds and hope those kids don't notice the band's gray hair at shows, or do they grow up a bit? Both avenues are perfectly possible – The Ramones never, ever really grew up and nobody dissed them too hard for it and, conversely, The Descendents have aged gracefully through Everything Sucks and Cool To Be You as they accept and even play with the fact that they're getting older – but Chixdiggit has to pick one and do it soon and, frustratingly, Safeways Here We Come offers more questions than it does answers.



Safeways Here We Come is out now. Buy it here on Amazon , or here directly from Fat Wreck Chords .

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