REVIEWS The Big Take-Over Just when I observed that a prominent lost quality of punk rock was it's innate social protest via vicious black humor- the visceral way to voice disgust, as everyone from Moliere to Norman Lear knows- up pops this nutball, tongue-in-cheek Virginia troupe. For an LP sharing a name with an awesome 1978 Buzzcocks b-side, the music is cracked rootsy-rock, spawn of the Violent Femmes, X, Gun Club, Cramps, Chicksaw Mudpuppies, Daniel Johnston/Jad Fair, and the B-52's. Singer Johnny Train Wreck talk-sings against pitch like Fred Schneider. This backs on-target spoofs of blowhard Rush Limbaugh-types ('Radio Personality'), Donald Rumsfeld ('Blind in Baghdad'), nagging spouses, horror film cliches, and a thematic update of The Lewd's 'I'm Not Pretty' ('Everybody's Born to Die'). So, let's die snickering.- Jack Rabid JerseyBeat.com Proving that a joke doesn't have to be funny to be successful as long as it exploits prejudices, The Shattered Hopes skirt the idea that they're a novelty act, and head straight for the musical funny bone. The band gets a lot of smileage out of tunes like "I Lost My Humanity," "In-Between," or "Stop It." With nods towards easily recognizable influences like The Aquabats and Violent Femmes, what could have been an idea that Monty Python could squeeze dry in a five-minute skit, The Shattered Hopes debut album could turn into an ongoing career. The majority of the songs are of the fringe-worthiness sort, but once in a while they lose their edge by thinking they have to spell out what the joke is about, rather than giving us credit for a wicked sense of humor, like in "Blind in Baghdad," or "Everybody Needs Somebody." The lead singer hangs his plaintive, nasal crooning on every song, which after 12 songs doesn't diminish the humor, or the full-bodied guitars, and the sturdy rhythm section, especially on hauntingly, funny "Happy Halloween" and "Everybody's Born to Die," both of which showcase the band's true sense of melody, and all-around bruised-ego song-writing.- Phil Rainone Mars Needs Guitars The Shattered Hopes revive what is all good about punk rock by infusing back in 'innate social protest via vicious black humor', something that is missing in a lot of punk bands today. Their 2009 debut Noise Annoys is punk rock with crackling roots, highly influenced by bands like: Violent Femmes, Cramps, B-52's, The Ramones, and The Aquabats. The result is quirky twangy songs, with funny lyrics, complimented by stout guitar riffs and a tight rhythm section. There's a lot of fun to be had with tunes like 'Stop It!' with it's strong nods to the aforementioned influencing bands. This is a promising debut and one that puts the fun back into punk rock!