Ten Foot Pole – Insider

Ten Foot Pole

Do you remember punk before Green Day? If you’re reading this, you probably have an interest in indie music, and therefore you probably do. But most people don’t. Because someone somewhere decided that Green Day were the stuff that popular rock was made of, and all of a sudden, pop-punk was in the mainstream. And then we heard of Rancid and The Offspring and a whole bunch of similar bands. Let’s see, that was about 1993, I would say, or maybe 94. You still hear Offspring songs on the radio occasionally, but the fickle mainstream music aficionados have decided that pop-punk is no longer the big thing, and now it’s all rap-rock.

But, hey, the San Francisco bay area is still there. And bands are still out there having fun and playing punk rock. Some still have the harsh, loud, in-your-face attitude, and others throw out the hooks and catchiness of pop. Ten Foot Pole has been around since that style of rock hit the mainstream, recording since 1994 as Ten Foot Pole and previously as Scared Straight. The band mostly fits into the latter category, but they flirt with the former as well. The pop-punk has the feel of Green Day without the silly lyrics and stupid ballads. But then there’s obvious influences from NOFX, Bad Religion and Lagwagon and similar in-your-face punk bands. Either way, it’s all fast, loud, fun punkrock.

“The Getaway” has a very familiar melody, almost like an old TV theme song sped up and punk-a-cized. But the chorus is damn catchy. “Hammering Out the Details” is much more punk than pop. Maybe it’s just singer’s voice that keeps this one from becoming too punk, taking just enough of the edge off to have your uncle bob his head along. “This is But a Test” is not quite as punk but damn good, reminding me of Shift’s post-hardcore pop sound and the catchy nature of Unwritten Law’s older stuff (when they were still punk). “Nothing to Lose” reminds me of Blink 182, just as catchy anyway without sounding so bratty. “Officer I Swear She’s 19” is kinda silly in a Blink 182 way. But then “Still Knee Deep” is the most punk of the songs in a Pennywise and NOFX sort of way. “I Won’t Complain Today” is another terribly addictive and catchy song, reminding of Bracket a bit, but with much better vocals.

Ok, so I have to admit that Ten Foot Pole is not the most original thing happening these days. You’ve heard it all before from other pop-punk bands. Maybe this is a little faster, but not that different. To which I say, who cares? These songs make me want to bounce around and bob my head and do that geeky punk dance where you bounce at the knees and bob your head around. You know the one, the one that’s so much fun when no one’s looking. It’s that kind of music. I haven’t heard it in a few years, frankly, and so it’s nice that Ten Foot Pole came along.