For their first release in six years, Chixdiggit! stick to their strengths, and the result is a welcome return from this underappreciated pop-punk band.
Chixdiggit! got off to a pretty fast start in the mid-'90s, releasing three albums between 1996 and 2000. After that, though, was a long wait until '05's Pink Razors, and then nothing. So the release of Safeways Here We Come is a bit of a surprise, but the band is back again, playing the same simple pop-punk they always have. Singer/guitarist/songwriter KJ Jansen writes silly songs about love, sex and life, and the seven songs here (which speed by in a brief 16 minutes) are a lot of fun, provided that one can tolerate Jansen's high-pitched, nasal singing style. His vocals are a bit of an acquired taste, but they work well with the music and follow in a long line of nasally pop-punk singers.
The standout track on this EP is "I Hate Basketball" -- on its soaring chorus, Jansen sings the title at the top of his vocal range. The other song that really works is "Since You Got a Dog", which sounds like a very personal story. The lyrics concern a friend who got a dog and basically became a shut-in to spend all his time with his new pet. The rest of the songs never hit any huge highs, but it's all solid, catchy material. Chixdiggit! know their strengths and they stick with them. The result is a welcome return from an underappreciated pop-punk band.