Junior Varsity: Bam Bam Bam!


By Justin Stranzl

File under sock-hop.

Taking cues from fellow ‘50s rehashers Grieving Eucalyptus and the Kung Fu Monkeys, Texas’ Junior Varsity bangs out 14 songs in a way-short 20 minutes, smiling and giggling and poorly playing its instruments all along the way. But lousy musicianship isn’t a bad thing here—Junior Varsity’s not about talent, it’s about fun.

With cutesy girl/boy vocals, lyrics about dancing and partying, and the pep you’d expect from two girls and a guy dressed as high school cheerleaders, Junior Varsity is the sort of band that’s impossible to dislike, no matter how miserable one is before listening to its Bam Bam Bam! disc. The songs are simple and the vocals are usually flat, but Junior Varsity’s got so much spirit one can’t help but look past its shortcomings in the talent department. While Bam Bam Bam! is nothing groundbreaking, it’s certainly a lot of fun, and anyone who digs similar bands such as the Untamed Youth or labelmates the Kiss Offs will certainly like at least some, if not all, of Bam Bam Bam!

Highlights? A rocking cover of the standard “Dance, Franny, Dance” and the driving “So Great,” where guitarist Rebecca humorously brags about her talents, singing “I am so great, I am so great” throughout the chorus. There’s surf and ‘50s rock ‘n’ roll and lotsa pop here, and since Bam Bam Bam! is only 20 minutes long, the album doesn’t have a chance to grow old before its ending. If you’re looking for innovation, Bam Bam Bam! is an album you’ll have to skip, but if fun’s enough for you, then Junior Varsity’s pom-pom-waving pop is exactly what you need.

Published at: http://www.popmatters.com/pm/review/juniorvarsity-st/