The wonder of music retail (that much-derided field I will be re-joining today) is being surprised by joy. It's the joy of hearing a crisp, new noise pounding out over the speakers and asking, “What is this?” It happens just often enough to maintain your faith. I remember striding across the floor of the rock/pop room (on my way to fill out some Bob Seeger-dominated insurance claim) and being stopped dumb by the music. The album cover showed four dorks and a blue screen, the song mentioned Buddy Holly and Mary Tyler Moore and…well, you know the rest (plus Weezer need no further praise from us). Instead, I’d like to offer you another, albeit much smaller, “What is this?" moment. That time a punk-reggae anthem with nagging sense of menace, named "Suburbia" was the culprit.
That song made me zip to the front of the store and grab that CD with the garish cover from the Now Playing stand. "Schleprock? Schleprock!?" I muttered to myself.
Schleprock were one of the many early nineties not-quite-ready-for-prime-time pop-punks of the Dr. Strange label (great name, great sense of history, spotty talent roster). After some catchy singles and a few solid, if workmanlike, albums (and in the thick of the Great Green Day Panic) they got sucked up by Warner Brothers. Unexpectedly in 1996 they delivered, (America’s) Dirty Little Secret not a pat pop-punk record but an SLF-Ruts-Clash ‘79 punk rock shout-along album. The slicked-up production cannot obscure the rough and tumbleness of these songs; the steel-drums n' ska-fueled "TV Dinner", the optimistically defiant rocker “You Can’t Hold Me Down”and of course the double-fist-pumping anthemic chorus of “(Ain’t Got) No Heroes”.
Schleprock - No Heroes
MRML Readers: please don't forget to leave us a comment: give us your review of the Schelprock or tell us your own "What is this moment?"}
*You can, regrettably, buy this album for one cent on Amazon. Alternatively, you can pick-up a Schleprock compilation album called Learning to Fail or you can just support the band members some of whom have re-configured as The Generators.
P.S. Anyone who's been following me lo these many years may realize this is a re-up. By the time I was done revising the write-up, adding the video, the song sample and the new images - it had morphed into a new post.