PunkReviews

The Ramonas – First World Problems

First World Problems
Release Date: September 10, 2017
Run Time: 29:26
Label: The Ramonas
Track Listing:
1. £**k Thi$
2. Roadkill
3. Zombie Crawl
4. Poser
5. First World Problems
6. The Daily Fail
7. Tearaway
8. Cotton Wool Kids
9. I Can’t Cope
10. Sue Me
11. Quarter Life Crisis
12. Ramonas Go to Freiburg
13. V.O.I.D
14. Microwave Mandy

Eagle-eyed readers might immediately spot the similarities between the name of this band and the moniker of the mightily NYC punk band, the legendary Ramones. Besides the similarity in their names, the two bands share a similar attitude, with their uncompromising and fast-paced blend of bubble-gum punk. Hailing from the UK, The Ramonas set out to capture that authentic 3-chords mayhem popularized by the US punk band, staying true to that simple formula, while bringing a lot of energy to the table.

I’ve followed The Romonas for a few years now, and they quickly became one of my favorite tribute bands. Along with acts such as Live / Wire, Lez Zepplin, The Iron Maidens and Atomic Punks. Now, there is a reason as to why that’s a very short list. When it comes to covers, I tend to be overly cynical. I have some rather high expectations of those bands, especially if they’re covering acts that I love.

Perhaps it’s just personal preference, but I tend to set the bar to the moon. I’m looking for a band that can capture that magic while honoring the original artist, and adding a subtle hint of the band’s own style and personality. The Ramonas have certainly delivered on everything that I’m looking for.

In some cases, I would say that they’ve actually gone above and beyond. For example when it comes to their stage presence and energy, it seems like they’ve managed to harness the powers of Iggy Pop himself. Which of course is why releasing original material, was a great next step for them.

The Ramonas
First World Problems is a well-produced release with 14 songs, ranging from straight-up punk rock (Roadkill, Zombie Crawl…), to tracks that have a debt with the 90s alternative rock scene. For instance, tracks such as Poser or Ramonas Go To Freiburg echo the work of bands such as Nirvana and Mudhoney, with a more abrasive and dissonant feel.

As a result of so many different influences colliding, “First World Problems” stands out as a remarkably diverse album, while retaining a lot of that direct simplicity that makes punk rock music special in the very first place. There is a great balanced between that no-care bubblegum punk attitude and a darker twist, showcasing the band’s most aggressive side.

All in all, there is really not much to be written about this album: I could go on and on describing how the overdriven guitars lock in with the drums and bass, and how the vocals blur the lines between melodies and grit, but the best way for you to experience all of this is certainly to pick the album up. It gets daily spins from me, and has passed my all-important “gym test” as I can give it two full play throughs while working out. Which is what I look for from everything in my bubblegum to aggressive punk rock.

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Final Score

Vocals
Content
Sound

Excellent

First World Problems is a fantastic debut of original material with great vocals, lyrical content and a diverse sound.

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User Rating: 4.78 ( 2 votes)
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