Thursday, July 14, 2011
The 99ers are a punk surf band from the Twin Cities. The founding members are Steve Shannon (guitars and vocals), Colin Selhurst (drums), and Molly Holley (vocals). Their three musical rules are: bang it out, keep it short, and no messing about. The 99ers are named after the band's favorite dessert - a 99 - which consists of a soft serve ice cream cone with a Cadbury's flake (a British chocolate bar) stuck in it. But is their music as sweet as that confection?
You’ll see plenty of homage to cavemen (!) and Minnesota in the song titles, including the amusing “St. Paul Girls” (St. Paul, Minnesota being their hometown). Steven and Molly (who sounds a lot like Blondie) trade off singing lead vocals and often come together to harmonize effectively. The music is a clear throwback to the classic days of punk and surf rock, stacking a thick layer of distorted guitar on top of solid 1950-ish song structures. The 99ers are most reminiscent of bands like The Ramones, with maybe a little bit of Social Distortion – they are proud of this comparison and praise their influences on a song called “Ramones Forever”. “Minnesota Day” is track that represents the sound of the band at their best. Among the other highlights in this lengthy set include the raucous title track, the melodic “Just Like Jonesy”, and “Play Around”. There is also a cool cover of Brenda Lee’s “Sweet Nothings”.
At 18 songs, their brand of music starts to stretch a little thin about halfway through “Everybody’s Rocking”. But at least the album is consistent in style and delivery. For fans of punk/surf, The 99ers are a must to check out – they are doing it better than most these days.
iPOD-worthy: 1, 2, 5, 7, 11, 13
The 99ers - Official site
Check out a video: