O.P.M. may have good intentions to deliver a hip-hop mixed with pop punk sound, but they do nothing more than rethread other bands that seek to do the same. The group is in the same generation as up and coming punkers Sum 41 and Mest, while they lack the same sense of intensity or sincerity. Perhaps that’s because the guys hint at spending the majority of their lives either intoxicated or involved in taking some sort of illegal substance. The title Menace to Sobriety either foreshadows the band’s alcohol and drug-induced personal lives or just makes for a lame play on words.
The California based group attempts to shine with the skate park anthem “Heaven Is a Halfpipe,” yet lack a terribly catchy hook that could have propelled the song onto radio. One of the albums slowest cuts, “Brighter Side,” has the same problem and despite the lyrics being the most intelligible out of any song on the album, it is a merely a Red Hot Chili Peppers’ “Soul to Squeeze” sound-a-like.
Menace to Sobriety features some heavy hitting stars, such as guitarist Eric Avery from Jane’s Addiction on “Stash Up,” Angelo Moore of Fishbone on “Better Daze” and “Unda,” as well as various contributions from ex-Rollins Band member Melvin Gibbs and Garbage’s D.J. Malcolm Micheles. “Unda” is probably the most tolerable out of that list, featuring Moore’s saxophone contributions. The tune is surf punk influenced, yet comes up short of being an on the beach classic.
The album is also interlaced with three pointless interludes, “Punanny,” “Rage Against the Coke Machine,” and “15 minutes.” The “Rage” track is particularly annoying and only features dialogue of the group members swearing at a vending machine that did not give them what they paid for. The segment earns my vote for number one waste of CD space so far this year.
O.P.M. has very little promise of ever making it to a “follow-up” status and based on the quality of this record shouldn’t bank on finding too much fame.
// Notes from the Road
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