The Smoking Popes – Born to Quit

ARTIST: The Smoking Popes Smoking_Popes_-_Born_to_Quit_cover
TITLE: Born To Quit
CHART ACTION: #37 Heatseekers
SINGLES: Rubella, Need You Around (#35 Modern Rock)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Fans know this thing.
LINEUP: Josh Caterer, Eli Caterer, Matt Caterer, Mike Felumlee.
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Croony punk band gets more power-poppy, gets major label deal, doesn’t lose their edge.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Sometimes a major label signing can help a release. Capitol Records saw that Need You Around was getting some airplay in Chicago and LA, and snapped this record up. This got it in more stores, and it did well.

Even though it’s not as punk as their debut, the feeling is still there – and definitely the sad-sack crooning of Josh Caterer is highlighted in the mix. Songs like the singles and the great Gotta Know Right Now (which definitely could have hit home for me in high school had it been released ten years earlier) show a maturing of the band without a loss of power.

It’s a short album, but it packs a lot of good stuff in less than 30 minutes. Some of the deep cuts aren’t as exciting or notable as the others, alas. Still, very solid.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: Many wags thought Josh Caterer’s voice sounded a bit like Morrissey. Well, Moz himself loved this record.


GRADE: A-: Many great songs, a few average ones. The best of the bunch here got on many playlists and mixes back in the day.

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