“It’s funny because it’s true” is a phrase we often use to expose good humor for what it is: truth, with the benefit of hindsight. Perhaps it is just the nature of time itself, but in a world constantly drained of logic, a good joke can be far more helpful than any analysis we might interpret as “facts,” because when used effectively, humor unveils contradictory layers of experience.
But we digress- it probably sounds like we’re about to write a consciousness theater symposium, but luckily, you’re in for something a little more profound, and far more enjoyable: Gucci Baby Wave Deluxe John Cena Ultra Impact Edition by The Pieces of Shit!
The band announced the album as a deluxe reissue edition of 2022’s EP Gucci Baby, teasing a number of high-brow features including Nick Reinhart, Thomas Erak, and Wot Gorilla? But boy oh boy, how this baby has grown. In fact, in the sheer impact of this baby wave’s pre-production phase, we couldn’t help but succumb to the undertow and humbly submit a few guitar lines of our own. But more on that at the very end.
Does the voice that announces the record at the very beginning sound familiar to you? That’s because it’s the voice of Jeff Steitzer – best known as the voice of the Halo video game series’ multiplayer matches. Now, that alone is kind of worth it’s own article, especially considering that after he recorded his part, he asked for more material from the band, but for now, check out another stunning achievement from the record, it’s irresistible closer “Punk is Dead.”
Featuring the inimitable RayonBase, we spent a solid seven days singing the song’s chorus to our dog, who now believes that punk is indeed dead, but doesn’t necessarily care.
As an EP in 2022 Gucci Baby was a solid counter-offering to Calming One Minute Meditations. It was slightly chunkier than its predecessor, but despite its short stay, proved highly rewarding with memorable moments like “Become” and “Kook of the Day.” We’re not sure where or how the idea of a reissue started, but after our interview last year on the background of the project, we knew there was a solid log brewing. Now that it’s finally here, you can hear where The Pieces of Shit! did some sonic facelifting to the overall mix of the original songs, which is something everyone can appreciate – but it’s only the beginning.
Earlier this year, the band released a single teasing the EP’s expansion, “Fuck Those Cheese Merchants.” While singer/guitarist Chris Lehr is already an established cut above when it comes the the lyrics department, lines like “bright gold uniform , a sigil old and torn, a tale as green as the sky is blue and burning, I’m old hat and grey, two symbols, a tattered page, the prayers are drowning out all the noise and turning…” deliver a different level of urgency, retaining their tongue-in-cheek-ness but raising the stakes on a more personal level. It’s also a downright silly good hook when it comes to melody, another strength the band seems to level up on for every release.
New additions “Depressions Only” and “Your Way” keep up the pace with their signature mile-a-minute, song-a-minute take on melancholy, unpredictable punk. After these, however, the third phase of the record starts, and kicks off with the hilariously odd interlude “IKEA,” featuring the legend Nick Reinhart of Tera Melos and Disheveled Cuss. What makes it so uncanny is that it sounds like a Tera Melos interlude, but played by The Pieces of Shit!, and with Tera Melos being such an influence on the band, it’s just sort of transcendent, parallel universe moment – and then it’s gone.
“I Watched the Tyler the Creator Spotify Documentary” and “Don’t Meet Yon Heroes” blow things back into gear with some of the most explicitly math rock licks yet from the band yet. “The James Brown Slime Deep Webb Telescope” and “Fent” return things to a punk-centric songwriting perspective but with the same heightened levels of energy we mentioned before, making for some of the record’s most memorable moments – even in the face of serious star power. Jason Howard of Wot Gorilla? and Thomas Erak of The Fall of Troy show up to kick off the next chapter of GBWDJCUIE, which refines the mixes on the material from The Tingle Singles while incorporating something new altogether with production piece “John Cena’s Theme (feat. P a c o M o r e n o).”
The Pieces of Shit! close out Gucci Baby Wave Deluxe John Cana Ultra Impact Edition with one hell of a climax phase, revisiting a number of old favorites as ‘Taylor’s Version’ mixes. Now, whatever your thoughts on Taylor Swift might be, it was a smart move to get all of this revised material in one place, as the album is primed to be the band’s most gestalt offering to date. The band has also stated that “Taylor is more punk than any of us,” and whether or not you see it as hijinks or an honest tribute, it’s certainly on brand.
As for the grand finale, hey, what can we say – after last year’s interview, we’ve been constantly in touch, and we were honored when they asked if we would be interested in submitting something for the record. We certainly were – we had been messing around with a lot of harmonic exercises on the guitar, as well as alternate tunings, and things came together pretty fast after we sent the initial idea in. Within a couple days, we tracked another couple of parts, including some fuzzy stuff with the Oneder Effects Onederwall we recently reviewed, and then we basically just had to wait until the release date (9/11) to hear the results.
Needless to say, we were quite pleased – but not as pleased as we were when we heard “Punk is Dead.” The song’s level of hijinks marks somewhat of an apex for the band, going full on absurdist, but classically simple with the composition, and the feature RayonBase puts down is just so… right. We don’t like to use the word perfect, but as the song finally burns out and the cumulative effects of Gucci Baby Wave John Cena Deluxe Ultra Impact Edition slowly leave your system… you can’t help but laugh. But not because it’s a joke – it’s just funny, because it’s true.
What an absolute wild child of a record. Also 100% do not sleep on the rest of the band’s material if you like what you hear – check it out on Bandcamp here. If you like what we do you can buy us a coffee here but honestly we’re shaking and need to switch to tea. We will just use the funds to keep up the site, I guess. Coming up we got a secret exclusive in just a couple days, Trust Fund Ozu, and more. Thanks for reading!