The most annoying thing about compilations is skipping past the sucky numbers to get to the numbers you really wanna hear. Not to imply that Short Music for Short People hasn’t got a few bad ones—show me anyone who digs 101 songs in a row and I’ll show you some one lacking in discriminating taste. The beauty of this particular group of tunes, though, is this: say you loathe ones by Goober Patrol and Spazz. (I do.) Before you can get off your lazy ass to change them, the next cut’s already begun. No kidding—one disc, 101 songs, all under 30 seconds! By comparison, the Minutemen seem long-winded. And a half-minute limit can make even Gwar likable.
Defying label and national boundaries (though heavy on the West Coast), with all but a handful of tracks (like Black Flag and Circle Jerks classics) recorded specifically for this project, the sampler may not be entirely definitive, but it’s definitely an original idea. Among the tiny gems are Fizzy Bangers’ seven-second mini-intro “Short Attention Span” (7 Seconds’ own track is longer) and contributions by Teen Idols, NOFX, and Nerf Herder—concise but complete ditties that make you bob your head, sing along, and bust a nut laughing at lyrics like “I was thinking of you while I jerked off into my sock last night.” Bouncing Souls come off strangely klezmerlike, and Chixdiggit’s “Quit Your Job” somehow resembles Lindsey Buckingham’s “Holiday Road.”
Unwritten Law, Anti-Flag, and Bad Religion say some thing culturally relevant in practically no time (“Just 30 seconds to sing to you about nationalism, fascism, corporate greed, hate, Nazis and the president”), while Dance Hall Crashers brilliantly say nothing at all with perfect a-ha harmonies. Big-name surprises include Rancid, Green Day, and the Offspring. Note to the Descendents: I like food, too, but where’s the “Weinerschnitzel”?