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Thursday, January 9, 2003

Review - No Vacation From the World

Artist: Useless I.D.

Posted on Thu, Jan 9, 2003 at 4:00 AM

Fourteen songs in just under 35 minutes. That's just about perfect. Punk bands these days, especially punk bands of the Warped Tour ilk like Useless I.D., really don't seem to have a whole lot to say beyond "I can't get a girlfriend" or "My girlfriend is really cool." So for any such band to try and needlessly drag out the length of their album is just ridiculous. But given the fact that Useless I.D. hails from Haifa, Israel -- one of the most politically explosive regions in the world -- you would think they had something to say beyond the ordinary. But it seems they are on "vacation from the world," since this album is so mired in So-Cal pop-punk clichés (it was even recorded in Santa Barbara) that you'd be forgiven for thinking the band was from Boise or Denver or even Orlando. Tracks like "Stuck Without a Ride," "Crush" and "The Worst Holiday I've Ever Had" roil along blissfully in that generic, American pop-punk way, leaving you pogo-happy and smiling. Sure, kids in Haifa have every right to emulate their Epitaph heroes (and these guys do it quite well), but if anyone would be expected to have a political voice in these troubled times, you'd hope it would be a clutch of punks from Israel. Too bad they don't.

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