Believe it or not, Grass Stains: A Bluegrass Tribute to Blink 182
is actually a fun record. Oh, it won't win any awards for artistic merit, but if you put it on you may enjoy yourself. blink-182
's simple tunes translate amazingly well to bluegrass. In fact it must have been easy pie for the band, Honey Wagon
(though they aren't billed anywhere on the cover), to crank its way through these three chords and a cloud of snot tunes. They are surely competent pickers, especially Loren Ellis on banjo, and the vocals are amusing as they alternately snarl and harmonize angelically through the very junior high school (and definitely not edited for the under-12 and over-30 listeners) lyrics. Taking away the pounding tempos and stripping the songs back also reveals how good blink-182
are at writing kicky melodies: "All the Small Things," "What's My Age Again," and "The Rock Show," especially. The only downer is "Adam's Song," an overwrought ballad that sounds very bad done superseriously but that is balanced by the hilarity of hearing "Reckless Abandon" done as an Appalachian folk song. Who knows who is going to buy this -- blink-182
fans will probably find it as corny as heck, while bluegrass fans will most likely regard it as a sign of the impending apocalypse. Oh well, it's their loss.