Me First & the Gimme Gimmes

Take a Break

A side project of members from punk groups Lagwagon, NOFX and Swingin’ Utters, this pop-punk cover band has never chosen predictable fare—prior stabs at flattery include show tunes and John Denver ditties. With its fourth album, the band retreads ’80s and early ’90s schlocky R&B classics. Songs like Boyz 2 Men’s “End of the Road” and Prince’s “Nothing Compares 2 U” manage to sound like original new singles, not just screaming-vocal, guitar-shredded butcherings. Although the Gimmes’ covers of “Natural Woman” and R. Kelly’s “I Believe I Can Fly” come off as fun caricatures, the high energy best showcased on their previous effort, Are a Drag, is still present and enough to engage new audiences. And it’s the only way to explain why the pierced-and-tattooed set now knows the lyrics to Vanessa Williams’ power ballad “Save the Best for Last.”