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[Off The Record]
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The natural synergy between pop-punk hits and teen-comedy soundtracks — always a sure bet for summertime fun — has been going uncommonly strong since at least ’98, when the Blink-182 breakthrough " Dammit " showed up in Can’t Hardly Wait. Blink have since become the teen-comedy house band du jour: their " Mutt " added a little sweetener to the original American Pie, and now they’re back leading off the soundtrack to the sequel with the characteristically wistful album track " Every Time I Look for You. " Close behind them lie nods to pop punk’s respective past and future in the form of Green Day (reverting nicely to the old shortfastloud trick on " Scumbag " ) and Atlanta newcomers Left Front Tire.

After that, there’s way too much modern-rock filler, including the fourth single from the hit debut by neo-grunge hacks 3 Doors Down (the ultra-sappy " Be like That " ). The disc’s biggest hook comes from Canadian kidpunks Sum 41, whose pseudo-rebellious " Fat Lip " name-checks Iron Maiden and Judas Priest but sounds mostly like Green Day. Its biggest surprise comes from heretofore unsung Blink clones Fenix*TX, who bust out Teenage Fanclub/Posies–style three-part vocal harmonies and sneak an extra chorus onto the end of " Phoebe Cates. " That last earns extra points for being, you guessed it, a reverent tribute to the grandaddy of all contemporary teen comedies, Fast Times at Ridgemont High.


Issue Date: August 16 - 23, 2001

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