Newborn: The Binkees

The Binkees! album cover

The Binkees! album cover

I'm not suggesting that everybody starting out in kids music send me an e-mail that describes the music they're making as "The Boogers with a west coast bent," but when I get such an e-mail, that's a good way to get me to listen.

Even better, I think that's a pretty darn good description for the music of The Binkees.  With a blast of punk air that to me that does have a lot of echoes of West Coast bands like Green Day, their self-titled debut album mixes covers of traditional kid favorites ("This Old Man," The More We Get Together") with some originals ("Night Light," "The Green Stuff").  Unlike some albums which take traditional kids' songs and run them through a genre blender, resulting in something that sounds like a challenge completed, this sounds like an actual album, with plenty of diversity in the tracks' musical approaches.  (Their take on "Michael Finnegan," which cycles through several different musical styles, is about the only one I've ever heard that's held my interest through that repetitive song.)  Ten solid songs in twenty minutes, that's how it's done.

The band is based in the San Francisco Bay Area, and guitarist and lead singer Toño Ramirez notes that much of the album was recorded at Hyde Street Studios, which has recorded a ton of California rock and punk bands, including the Grateful Dead, the Dead Kennedys, Green Day, Cake, and more.  Don't know if The Binkees will have as long a career as those bands, but based on their debut, I hope there's at least a little more music to come.  The Boogers should be glad to welcome The Binkees to their corner of the kindie playground.

You can stream the entire album here or on Spotify via the widget below.