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The Secret Life of Punch the Clown

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Sea Monkey Stomp - (985K wav)

love, James - (1.2Meg wav)

Trouble - (1Meg wav)

Music Review: Each Sold Separately

By Andrew Nolan

Each Sold Separately
Punch the Clown
Raj Records

Rating: Arousing

Punch the Clown is the best ska band in Davis, and possibly the best band in Davis, period. Their second album Each Sold Separately confirms what their first album Punch the Clown is Caught Red-Handed hinted at: their quickly maturing brand of ska is close to attaining status as classic party soundtrack music.

The record starts solidly with the mostly instrumental ska groove "Sea Monkey Stomp," and doesn't let up on the skankfest often.

Using their trademark silly humor, songs like "Love, James" are not only musically entertaining, but provide a rallying cry for every relationship gone bad. When you hear the chorus of "I want my stuff back!" you feel Punch's pain.

"Rocketship" is one of the best ska songs I have ever heard. It's nonsensical and fantasy- like, and anyone who's ever seen the ending from the classic Better Off Dead will be swept away with nostalgia.

Of course, all students will be thrilled to learn that the Cal Aggie Band-uh is prominently featured on one of the tracks. And again, humor is the centerpiece of the bonus track, "When I Punch the Clown." It features several guys discussing their thought processes when they, um, punch the clown.

As much as I'd like to, I can't quite give this CD an "Orgasmic," due to a couple throwaways such as "Big Mouth." At this rate of improvement, however, Punch's next album might just get there.

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