Monty Vega & the Sittin’ Shivas Sonic Gloss cassette

Sometimes when I start writing a review, the record’s description ends up coming out as something I would never want to listen to even if I am enjoying what I am hearing. Sounds like the RAMONES (boring!). Songs about unrequited love (yawn!). A song called “Facebook Fighting” (who cares?). Goofy band name (eh). An odd selection of covers (OK, that’s fun). It is best to let go of all musical knowledge and preconceptions with this one and simply enjoy the tunes. The songs are peppy and straightforward poppy punk, but not in that annoying pop punk way. MONTY VEGA’s vocal style is bratty, but more Dee Dee than Joey. The best song on the cassette, “Gravity Man,” has the band moving into the garage rock lane. As for the covers, “Ghost Rider” is slowed down with spoken-style vocals making it sound really cool, and “Hungry Heart,” a song BRUCE SPRINGTEEN originally wrote for the RAMONES, is better than expected. I like this no matter what I say.