Mob Stereo – Too Young To Go Steady

Mob Stereo
Too Young To Go Steady

Some bands can get away with not knowing how to play their instruments. Some bands can even make a career that way. Unfortunately, many others simply mistake of sounding as technically non-proficient as possible, thinking it will increase their punk credibility. However, often all it really does is handicap their ability to create sonically varied, not to mention melodic music. Musical simplicity can be great, but only in small doses and only when done well, preferably by The Ramones.

The sonic uniformity of Mob Stereo’s latest album Too Young to Go Steady is by far its biggest flaw. While occasionally amusing, the sheer monotony of the record makes for some tedious listening, as the same three chord progressions are staples in just about all of their songs. Based on the redundancy and brevity of most of the tracks, it can be pretty difficult to distinguish one song from another. This is especially frustrating when most of the titles represent one word vague, theoretical concepts, like “Revolution,” “Divorce,” and the “Future” that philosophy scholars (and rock stars) have been debating the for years. You’d think something as monumental as political upheaval or the vastness of our potential prospects is deserving of a little more than two-note melodies and weak instrumentals.

The repetitiveness of the album is made all the more frustrating by a handful of really catchy, punk-pop tunes, which prove that the album isn’t entirely without merit. Some of the longer and more structured tracks like “Bubblegum and Binders” and “Other Stepped In” are genuinely fun in their lighthearted simplicity. Lead vocalist, Noor Jahan Fletcher, passionately croons, like a high-pitched Debbie Harry that’s been given a time-out for mischievously running around the schoolyard, taunting all the boys. With its jaunty, Blitzkrieg-esque bop and teasing demeanor, “Bubblegum and Binders” is full of youthful glee. Several other tracks are equally giddy like the swaggering “Other Stepped In” and power-poppy “Chinatown.” Their more developed structure helps to counterbalance the redundancy of earlier tracks and demonstrates their ability to craft occasionally satisfying hooks.

With a little more focus and sharper songwriting, Mob Stereo might have some potential. In the meantime, you might want to get your immature, bratty girl punk elsewhere – maybe from a few guys called the Ramones.