Watermelon Watermelon LP

I love rooting for an underdog. So, despite a handful of red flags—bad record cover, self-described RAMONES-core, cringe-ass song titles like “Gimme Ritalin”—I was really determined to like this record. I mean, sure, this cover kinda sucks, but, at least the color combination is nice. And RAMONES-core unfairly gets a bad rap. The RAMONES are one of the best bands ever, why not sound like them? And, yeah, the song title thing is gonna be tough to get over, but these tracks could still be good! Unfortunately, underdogs tend to have trouble winning. WATERMELON, a three-piece out of Chicago, packs plenty of amateurish charm into the twelve tracks on this LP. The problem is that you can only coast so far on charm. This particular genre requires you to write some catchy tunes, and this act can’t quite muster that. The vocals are a big part of the problem for me. Not only are they tuneless and multi-tracked with just enough dissonance to let off a really unpleasant trill at times, they’re also really buried in the mix. I know that kinda sounds like a “this food is terrible…and it comes in such small portions” type of complaint, but it just sounds bad and wrong. I wish these folks the best of luck, as I did really like the cut of their jib, but I will not be will not be going back for another slice of this one.

Watermelon Watermelon demo cassette

WATERMELON is a snappy three-piece from Chicago playing one-and-a-half-minute knuckle sandwiches on their 2021 demo cassette. Sonically, there’s a heavy RAMONES influence, but also a dash of EATER and MISFITS. What really stands out are the vocals, a girl-gang chant that reminds me of Holly Golightly and THEE HEADCOATEES. Standouts “Shithead” and “I’m So Happy” both sound like they’ll be on punk comps someday. Good stuff!