OSAKA POPSTAR – And The American Legends Of Punk

OSAKA POPSTAR - And The American Legends Of Punk


Misfits Records
Release date: May 23, 2006

User Review
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John Cafiero, the creative force behind Osaka Popstar and this Pop Punk album, has worked for a long time with Punk legends The Misfits as producer … he produced their highest charting album ever: Project 1950. Cafiero grew up in the New York Punk scene with bands like The Ramones. On Osaka Popstar’s debut album, he is backed up with the American Legends Of Punk, featuring Jerry Only (Misfits), Dez Cadena (Black Flag), Ivan Julian (The Voidoids), and Marky Ramone (The Ramones). With a line-up like that, you’re bound to do something right!

According to Osaka Popstars press release, “Punk is alive and well,” and indeed it is. With all the New School and Melodic Punk around today, it’s a thrill to listen to this album. Real old-school, feel-good Punk. This album is dedicated to Cafieros love for Japanese anime and toys, Punk and Pop culture, and the 1970s New York Punk bands … and finally his love for The Ramones.

The album kicks off with the amusingly “Wicked World,” a classic Punk Rocker with “I don’t care about anything” lyrics. Next out is “Astro Boy,” a song about a superhero with the ability to fly, who is amazingly strong. The song is short, catchy, and very funny. Continuing the tribute to Japanese anime, “Sailor Moon” is a song about Sailor Moon, a 14-year old junior high school girl who receives a special quest from a talking cat, her Sailor Scout. Again a very amusing catchy tune and funny lyrics!

“Man Of Constant Sorrow,” is a Punk remake of the song from the O’ Brother Where Art Thou Soundtrack. “Does that work?” you may be asking yourself. The song has never sounded better, and with guest vocals from music icon Daniel Johnston, it’s one of the many highlights on this album. “Insects,” the fifth tune out, has got a classic Ramones feel to it with a great riff and sing-a-long lyrics. The best thing about this song is the lyrics, apparently they were written by The Kids Of Widney High, Class of ‘89. The Kids Of Widney High are a group of students from Widney High School, a Special Education High School in Los Angeles, who write and perform original songs. The group started in 1988 as a songwriting class, but changed as the students came and went from Widney. “Bugs are in the trees and they’re watching you, you better watch out or the insects will get you.” Got to love it.

Another song that stands out on this album is “The Christmas That Almost Wasn’t.” The song is actually the opening title track from an obscure Christmas movie of the same name, released in 1966. Two Richard Hell songs are also featured here: “Love Comes In Spurts” and “Blank Generation,” with Ivan Julian handling bass and guitar, and Marky Ramone trashing the drums — you almost got The Voidoids featured. These are the darkest songs on the album, but still with catchy vocals and the best guitar solos. “Blank Generation” also sounds a bit like the Arctic Monkeys. The three last songs, “Monsters,” “Where’s The Cap’n?,” and “Shaolin Monkeys” are new material written by John Cafiero … his writing is very entertaining and funny. Any song about your breakfast cereal has got to be funny … and it is!

Listening to Osaka Popstar And The American Legends Of Punk, you’ll find that the entire album just makes you feel good. No fillers, all killers! 13 songs, 28 minutes of great Punk! Also, it’s not only a CD, but also a bonus DVD containing the extremely funny videos for “Wicked World” and “Insects” as well.


  • Frode Kilvik

    Frode Kilvik was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio, based out of Sotra, an island west of Bergen, Norway. He's been a music lover all his life, and Metal has always been his main passion. He grew up, listening to Iron Maiden, AC/DC, Metallica, etc., and it gave him a hunger and an addiction to explore and find new acts in the world of Metal. Frode picked up the bass guitar when he was about 10 or 11 (Steve Harris was a huge influence) and has played in various Rock and Punk bands ever since. He was the bass player and vocalist for the Stoner Metal band Kraków, and is also playing bass in the Black Metal bands Gaahls WYRD and Aeternus!

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