The Scam Asked For Our Take

Categories: Homespun

Thriving off chaos and drama, the Scam (playing Sunday night at Old Rock House with Nashville Pussy and the Dwarves) is a notorious bunch in St. Louis. Playing primarily at Fubar Lounge, the quartet has been scoring opening slots for top-notch punk legends like the Meatmen, the Dwarves, and the Turbo A.C.s. Abusing punk as fashion and abandoning anything resembling the punk rock ethos, the Scam follow in the school of the drunk punk. Riding the jock of Lars Frederiksen, the band plays in the vein of mid-'90s punk bands like Rancid, U.S. Bombs, and Lower Class Brats. Trading in basements for bars, the Scam believes in putting in work and selling concert tickets instead of supporting a scene. However, focused on causing a ruckus, these beer-guzzling knuckleheads bring humor to punk, where the strictness of genre-nazis and uptight record collectors is often common.

On March 17th of this year I wrote the article, "Five bands keeping the St. Louis hardcore-punk scene alive and thrashing." The Scam, not one of the five, chose to express its displeasure at the article and me personally via YouTube. You can watch the video above. Could they be jealous for not having been covered? Maybe. Did they see the perfect opportunity to market themselves? Absolutely.

Oddly enough for a band that eagerly trashed the RFT, the Scam sent a copy of its eight-song EP to our offices. I'm game:

The EP is an even-handed blend of punk rock, ska influence, and good old rock & roll. Starting off with the fast-paced "Rock Bottom," a song that is full of snide attitude and middle-aged angst, crying out "Don't you fucking talk to me/ Don't say you can relate to me." The melodic, faux-love song "How Could I Be Wrong" plays like a ska-infused street punk anthem as the character moves from one girl to the next. On the beer-soaked "What Goes Around" the band goes through a night of pills and booze, in a grimey ode to getting fucked up. These guys clearly know the formula after living the Miller High Life and jamming U.S. Bombs records all day.

Starting off as a throwback to '50s crooner pop, "Goodbye and So Long" launches into a punk rock ballad about the trials and tribulations of ending a relationship, lamenting "What we had is fucking gone, so goodbye and so long."

The Scam's best Rancid impression, "City Of Lights" is full of introspective lyrics about taking the lonely road and leaving the world behind, marking what may be the only earnest moment on the EP. Regardless of the band's wild reputation as a bunch of numbskull ruffians, the Scam's technical proficiency and dedication to the punk rock genre shines through on this well-recorded disc. Full of palm mutes and a rip-tearing guitar solo, "Dead End Life" explodes with anger and defiance as singer James Gallagher belts out "I'll never be what you want me to be," at times sounding like Kevin Seconds. Clocking in at two minutes and 59 seconds, "The Worst" is the longest track on the EP. This burning track of self-deprecation rides the three-chord punk wave with backing gang vocals and solid percussion. Ending with a bombastic version of the Black Flag classic "Fix Me," it feels almost as if it was thrown on there for street cred.

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It seems the Scam takes music seriously, leaving its punk habits a hobby. Is it a good band? Maybe. Are its members a bunch of goofballs? Absolutely. With a "FUCK YOU" sticker sealing the CD shut, after this listen, the feeling remains mutual.


Location Info

Old Rock House

1200 S. 7th St., St. Louis, MO

Category: Music

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16 comments
Jason Robinson
Jason Robinson

here's what i find most amusing - the review is mostly positive, saying, in essence, "what they do has been done, but they do it well"... so what's with all the hatin'? i've heard harsher reviews of taco trucks.

PUNKS VS DUMDUMS
PUNKS VS DUMDUMS

YEAH, FUK YA THE SCAM. THEY R ANARCHY FOR STL. COOL PUNK DUDES W/ SUM BEER. ALSO IF U DONT LIKE THEM U R A REAL DUM DUM! I HATE ALL THESE REAL DUM DUM IDIOTS, DONT EVEN KNOW GOOD PBR AND SLEEVE TATZ PUNK WHEN THEY SEE IT. ALSO I REALLY HATE THESE THINGS ( B/C THEY R NOT PUNK ): NITWITS, FAGS, AND REAL DUM DUMS! FUK THAT. NOT PUNK. WAKE UP STL, WE NEED REAL PUNX WHO DRINK THE PBR AND HATES DUM DUMS! IF U R A REAL PUNK AND NOT A DUM DUM AND U LIKE MELODIC PUNK THAT SOUNDS LIKE WARP TOUR 1996 BUT W/ MORE BEER COME SUPPORT THE REAL STL PUNK SCENE W/ THE SCAM! STOP BEING A REAL DUM DUM NOW. IDIOT!

roger
roger

those guys' dicks smell like each others' mouths

Oi PuNK DesTroi
Oi PuNK DesTroi

can't wait to see these albums overflowing in HOT TOPIC "99 cent cd" bins across st.louis a year from now.

Spam
Spam

Tesco Vee called these dudes posers to their faces after they opened for them. That's all the review anybody should need.

Lisa
Lisa

The show is on Sunday. Lars' last name is Frederiksen. Rancid impression??

Doesn't anyone proofread your shit?

James Gallagher
James Gallagher

Once again Josh you have bored us to tears with yet another mediocre article. You are a real dum dum. At least our video was entertaining. Idiot!

Bill Callahan
Bill Callahan

A shit, nutless review in response to a shit, racist video that replied to a shit, half-baked article of four fucking months ago is almost the definition of a tired circle-jerk. Dick slaps all around, dudes!

WHAT A FAG!
WHAT A FAG!

"believes in putting in work and selling concert tickets instead of supporting a scene" the stl louis scene is a joke anyway quit taking your job so seriously fag.

Lord Byron
Lord Byron

A shit, nutless review in response to a shit, racist video that replied to a shit, half-baked article of fucking four months ago is almost the definition of a tired circle-jerk. Dick slaps all around, dudes!

Lexy
Lexy

Wrong again.Tesco Vee never said a word. He did end his set early because the crowd was too rowdy and there was broken glass everywhere. Tesco is getting a little soft in his old age.

The Spam
The Spam

Oh, you mean when Jimmy walked by and Tesco started straight up shit-talking him? That didn't happen? I fucking saw it, you lying assholes. And as for the reason they ended their set, it wasn't the crowd that fucked it up, it was dudes from the Scam dumping a trash can onstage during the Meatmen's set that made them cut it short.

The reason the Scam sucks isn't because they act like assholes, it's because they act like assholes just for the sake of getting attention. If they just played their instruments like a real band they'd be great, but for some reason they'd rather be a bunch of corny ass attention whores. It's embarrassing to watch. I wish Fubar would quit putting them on real shows.By the way, is this Lexy aka the fake Facebook profile that the Scam uses to promote their shows? Pathetic.

Lexy
Lexy

if you don't believe me call the Fubar and ask them. The crowd was pissed the set was soooo short

James
James

Tesco never said a word to me. If he did I didn't hear it. As far as the trash can that was not us. No one in The Scam would disrespect The Meatmen like that, and it wasn't on the stage - it was in the crowd. Tesco said "lets fuck some shit up" - somebody did - then Tesco left.

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