Whatzup

Return To The Rock
The Migraines

by Gloria Diaz Return To The Rock

Has becoming a Christian punk band meant the Migraines have mellowed out? Yes and no. The musicianship, good to begin with, has improved, but the band still sings about what they’re interested in. The band’s new disc, Return to the Rock, makes no mention of the Ramones, Venus sex fiends, wusses or the Misfits. Instead, Jesus is the subject for most of the songs, all of which were written entirely or partly by Eddie Migraine.

From the beginning, Eddie’s lyrics have been funny and clever. In a genre where lack of musicianship is seen as okay, the Migraines have produced quality punk. Ironically, a bad review netted them a record deal with Onefoot Records. This review and $2.75 might buy them a fancy coffee at one of the local java holes, but those looking for punk rock they can feel okay about their kids listening to should pick this up. At times, it seems more pop than punk-oriented, especially with the harmonies thrown in. And, unlike most punk songs, you can understand the lyrics. However, if you really want to be accurate when you sing along, the Migraines have included the words for you.

Of the nine songs on the CD, “The Ten Second Mosh,” is unabashedly punk in a quick, furious squirt of sound. This is classic Eddie: “You love me/you have me/You make me wannna cry/You love me/you have me/you make me wanna die/So I’ll drink a Faygo Frosh/It’s the ten second mosh!” The same song is featured at the end of the CD, except for the “backward masking” that’s included. The old Migraines would have commanded their faithful to do some sort of nutty prank, but not now.

Eddie gets back at his detractors in “I Killed Punk Rock,” a commentary about what being punk means to different people: “All you need to do to become a punk rocker/is to declare that you are one/Sew a Subhumans patch on the back of of your jacket/Even though you only know one song.” The Migraines were criticized a few years ago for actually having the guts to promote themselves, something punk bands frown on. I’m willing to bet those same bands would trade squatting and eating ramen noodles day in and day out for a big fat record contract, but hey, I could be wrong.

The rest of the songs deal with the Migraines becoming Christians and what it means to them, with the possible exception of “Cowboy Who Sells Me Monkeys” (I still haven’t figured out what that means) and a hidden track from the soundtrack of the ultimate punk-rock movie. Why is it hidden? Eddie explained they don’t have to pay royalties that way. How punk is that? Very. And so are the Migraines, still.

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