I, along with a crew of Vans Sk8 hi wearing pop-punk fans, can credit The Ataris with four things.
1) A punk rock influence for those who still got Now! That’s What I Call Music CDs featuring a distorted Don Henley cover and have no idea what punk rock really is.
2) At least seven tracks spread among three different break-up mixtapes to get over three different women from 2001 to 2005 whose names I can no longer remember but still kind of wonder if they have any of my old band T-shirts. (I’ll send you my address if that’s the case, Brittany).
3) It’s pop punk for a reason, the reason(s) being the lyrics are incredibly catchy and the tabs are incredibly easy to memorize and play.
4) On “Your Boyfriend Sucks,” the band jams over a sample from “A Bronx Tale” which takes nearly two minutes to complete, appears in full below, and fully distorted my view of relationships.
“Alright, listen to me. You pull up right where she lives, right? Before you get outta the car, you lock both doors. Then, get outta the car, you walk over to her. You bring her over to the car. Dig out the key, put it in the lock and open the door for her. Then you let her get in. Then you close the door. Then you walk around the back of the car and look through the rear window. If she doesn’t reach over and lift up that button so that you can get in, dump her.”
“Just like that?”
“Listen to me, kid. If she doesn’t reach over and lift up that button so that you can get in, that means she’s a selfish broad and all you’re seeing is the tip of the iceberg. You dump her and you dump her fast.””
So, yes, there’s a lot of emotional attachment for a band most may disregard.
There are no noteworthy accomplishments to speak of. A gold record, sure, but no groundbreaking musical accomplishments, no genre revitalization. Just generally catchy pop punk. And why expect anything else for their “So Long, Astoria” reunion tour, a record 11 years old but still as fresh as the memory of the breakup behind the high school bleachers.
Of course, that’s the general theme of most of their tracks – and their evening at the Fillmore. Immature love, immature heartbreak, immature hopeless romanticism, just not dressed up as something more.
But should you attach yourself to a band for the novelty? For the indie cred? For thousands of dollars the Japanese-import split 7″ will fetch for someday? Fuck that.
Sure, throw me the unreleased demo leak of Julian Casablancas’ Ray Bans’ side project. It’ll be perfect. But I’ll gladly take a night of faux-moshing to pseudo-heartbreak songs because you’re damn sure I’ll belt out every track like I’m 13 again.