1-800-Mikey Plushy cassette

If you’re a fan of all the varieties of punk that are barely punk and mainly pop, my dude 1-800-MIKEY has you covered! On this, his debut album Sydney-based recording artist Michael Barker is kicking out thirteen jams reminiscent of the lo-fi garage pop of early HUNX AND HIS PUNKS, JAY REATARD at his CHRIS KNOX-iest, or the punk-pop/pop-punk-stradling tunes of the MARKED MEN. But this project does not seem interested in replicating those acts’ kitsch, irony, or cool. Instead, MIKEY—decked out in some ill-fitting jeans and a bucket hat, clutching an oversized plush bear—is bringing unadulterated earnestness to the table. And, yeah, on paper that sounds even less punk, but it works. The songwriting is up to snuff, and he manages to keep the twee-ness to a tasteful minimum—even when a squiggly-ass keyboard rears its ugly head, it never overstays its welcome! I don’t know that this record is going to flip anybody’s wig, but it’s certainly a pleasant way to while away twenty minutes.