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Enter the Danger Brigade
Artist: Calibretto 13
Label: Tooth and Nail Records

Calibretto 13 may in the running for "Most Fun Song of the Year" with "High Five," the leadoff single from their debut album for Tooth and Nail Records, Enter the Danger Brigade. For starters, it’s acoustic punk (or, as their press release calls it, "alternative folk-punk," a genre painfully unmined except by the likes of The Violent Femmes. For another thing, lead singer Joseph Whiteford has an undeniably funny vocal that couldn’t possibly be anything but fun. Couple that with lyrics like "I think it’s kinda funny that we’re all a bunch of nerds," and you’ve got yourself a radio hit. 

None of the other songs on the album quite reach the magnitude of "High Five" (with the possible exception of their riotous cover of The Sweet’s "Ballroom Blitz"), but overall, Enter the Danger Brigade is an excellent album. The band’s only problem comes when Whiteford moves away from his normal approach to lyrics, and begins to pontificate. Songs like "Creep" ("Until you change your ways / My God will not hold out his hand") and "Fall Away" ("Johnny took a trip to Brazil / To spread the truth, to preach what is real / When he got back home he had such a fire / But just a month later he lost his desire") are undeniably youth-groupy in their finger-wagging. They’re still fun and well-put-together musically, but Calibretto’s novelty songs are unavoidably more enjoyable to listen to.

Michial Farmer 10/26/2000



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