Album Reviews

Thank You For Being A Friend
88 Fingers Louie - Thank You For Being A Friend
Tuesday, June 13, 2017 - 07:57
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- by Nate Hennon

Even though I am a big fan of 90s Chicago punk rock, 88 Fingers Louie was one I missed. It is not as though I never heard of them; it is more of the fact that they called it quits before I branched out of my Fat Wreck Chords/Epitaph bubble. It was not until 2000 that I began to explore other punk genres and sounds. During this musical exploration is when I found a love for the poppy goodness that I associated with the modern Chicago punk scene. A scene that worshiped at the altar of Naked Raygun and Big Black developed some of my favorite pop punk bands. Bands that rival or surpass anything that came out of the 90s Southern California punk scene.

I say all of that about the Chicago 90s punk scene to highlight why I am glad I waited to give 88 my time until now. In the 90s, most Southern California bands had that ‘Fat Wreck/Epitaph’ sound; a sound that is synonymous with a particular guitar and bass tone and an unmistakable, speedy drum beat. Even though 88 Fingers Louie was one of these bands in the past, their sound has matured on their latest release, “Thank You For Being a Friend.” Instead of just ‘reliving the glory days,' the time away from the stages has allowed 88 to become better songwriters. “Knock it Off” and “Turned Grey” sound more like 88 Fingers attempting to do a tribute to ALL, but without compromising their signature melodic hardcore sound.

This ALL/Descendents comparison is not just isolated to a few songs on “Thank you For Being a Friend,” the overall vibe of their return reminds me of “Everything Sucks.” This 1996 Descendents release was not just another album, but the changing point for the band. Instead of trying to write music to pay the bills, the Descendents wrote songs for fun, and this change of attitude has made the band so much more enjoyable to see and hear. “Thank You Being a Friend” is 88 Fingers Louie “Everything Sucks.” If the band continues to use their reactivity to write for themselves and their enjoyment, their next few albums are going to be highly anticipated.


Track listing:

  1. Meds
  2. Advice Column
  3. Knock It Off
  4. All The Right Words
  5. Turned To Grey
  6. Here's To That Innocence
  7. Catastrophe Awaits
  8. The Violence Of Denial
  9. 2810
  10. Our Tired Vices
  11. November's Big Mistake
  12. My Final Story
Tom Dumarey
Tom Dumarey

Lacking the talent to actually play in a band, Tom decided he would write about bands instead. Turns out his writing skills are mediocre at best as well.