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  On Air  
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Ah Pain.

Pain were consistently one of the funnest bands i have ever seen. In fact, i might even go so far as to claim that the 10 or so live Pain concerts i saw contained more sheer fun and joy that every concert i saw in the entire year 2000.

And that is what i love about this band: the fun. Pain were an 8 piece band (imagine a pop band and then add a horn section) that made wonderful energetic punk pop. Pain were from Alabama. Pain sang songs with references to New Wave music, growing up in the 80's, and playing Dungeons And Dragons. It is as if Pain were what i could be if i tried hard enough and, well, had really tall hair like Dan the vocalist!

I really really loved Pain, but Pain have been silent for a few years now, and so i refer to Pain as being in the past tense. This brings me great sadness.

But wait -- in an effort that seems to imply a kind of "wrapping things up" Pain have released On Air, a CD which contains 11 Pain tracks in 32:32!!! Woo hoo, a half hour of Pain for my enjoyment.

Alas, i have heard all of these songs before. On Air is a compilation of radio studio appearances over the years. The recordings are tinny and poorly mixed -- usually too much drum and guitar and not enough keyboards. But listening to this CD, i can feel that magic that the band had. When they were up there on the stage going like mad singing such silly and fun songs as Milk, Derision, Gavin, Suckerpunch, and so on (i could list all of the songs here because all of them qualify!) then all seems right in the world. I listen to this CD and all i want to do is get up and move around my apartment and blare the music, scaring cats and annoying neighbors.

There is such fun and joy in this music that it hurts sometimes. It is too intense. I love Pain, and i find value in each of their releases, but i cannot listen to too much at any given time. About a half an hour is all i can take at once, so it is good that this release is only 32 minutes long. After a half hour of pain i start to get worn out. They exhaust me after a while.

Call this a greatest hits CD if you want. Call it a posthumous attempt to make all material available. Whatever. If you had the luck to see Pain, run out and buy this. If you have never heard of them but the notion of fun and silly punk pop with horns seems appealing, then this is a fine introduction.

If i had my way, everyone would listen to Pain!

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