Me First and the Gimme Gimmes
Rake It It: The Greatestest Hits
(Fat Wreck Chords)
It’s been 22 years since punk rock’s greatest supergroup cover band first formed and shockingly the joke still hasn’t gotten old. Comprised of members of NOFX, Lagwagon, Swingin’ Utters’ and Foo Fighters, the band started off with a 7” of two John Denver covers (their version of “Country Roads” is included here in this greatest hits collection). The group put out a few more singles over the next years and pulled together their first proper album in 1997, with Have A Ball. It was a great album, but with a somewhat loose theme of hit songs from the ‘70s and ‘80s, riffing on folks like Billy Joel, Paul Simon and Kenny Loggins. Over the next decade, they tightened up the themes, with records comprised of show tunes (Are A Drag), R&B songs (Take a Break), Country jams (Love Their Country) and songs from Australian artists (Go Down Under), among others.
Pulling together a “greatestest hits” album for a indie punk band has always been almost entirely selective as very few radio stations are playing the genre nowadays and so it’s hard to define what a “hit” actually is. That being said, the band does an excellent job picking songs from their catalogue to fill out the 17 tracks here. There are one or two questionable choices, but the rest of the album is crammed with fan favorites like “I Believe I Can Fly,” “Desperado” and “End of the Road.”
Here’s hoping the band sticks around long enough to have enough material for Volume II.