You must be joking
Zooparty formed in Linköping, Sweden back in '05 and "You must be joking", their third release, is a contemporary pop-punk album that most old-school punks would be crazy not to love on first listen. It has the power and grit of 1970s UK punk with the hooks and slickness of 90s era skate punk. Two icons of the genre, Glen Matlock (Sex Pistols) and Brian James (ex-Damned), contribute their guitar chops to the first two songs respectively, with James appearing again on the final song. Having said that, there is no drop off in quality from track to track and I can't help but think these guest appearances are nothing more than a token of their blessings meant to give the album some extra publicity. Besides, Erik Pettersson, the so-called "creative genius" of Zooparty, more than holds his own when compared to his legendary counterparts. His style reminds me of a young Steve Jones, consistently churning out explosive, catchy riffs that pack plenty of muscle. Petterssons' vocals are exhilarating as well and have an upbeat, tongue-in-cheek charm. The quirky lyrics don't make much sense, but that doesn't lessen the impact of the music. They sound very authentic for a latter-day punk band too, probably because they play each song with such fervent energy and really seem to be enjoying themselves. They don't force it and therein lies the beauty; isn't that what punk was about in the very beginning?
- Doug Ahlgren