By Paul “Don’t Call Me Pee-Wee” Hermann
It’s summer. The sun is shining and the grass is forever growing. You might find yourself home from school one day hoping to relax and the old man asks you to mow the lawn. Perhaps you’ve got a summer job cutting grass for your neighbors. Or maybe you actually own your own place and are tired of the yard looking like Kid Rock lives there.
The time comes that every man (or woman) must succumb to the summer weather and work on their lawn. The biggest challenge in this situation has nothing to do with the lawn itself, though, but in deciding WHAT TO LISTEN TO. While you roast in the sun’s powerful rays, it’s important to choose music that will keep your engine running and your tired legs moving.
Well, dear readers, the confusion has ended. I present to you the “Top 5 Lawn-Mowing Albums.”
5. Jimmy Eat World – Jimmy Eat World (Bleed American)
I’m probably going to get a lot flak for not choosing “the real” Jimmy Eat World album, but ya know what, when you’re out in the glorious sun you need music that drives. And the band’s self-titled album has a lot of hard-driving songs. When the sweat is pouring from your head, “A praise chorus” and “If you don’t, don’t” will keep you motivated until you can get to that nice cold one waiting for you at the end of the day.
4. …And Out Come the Wolves – Rancid
What more could you ask for in a lawn-mowing record? On …And Out Come the Wolves, Rancid fuses punk musical styles as well as any band in the last couple decades, managing to bring ska’s upbeats and punk’s chaos together in glorious harmony, making it one of the ultimate mowing records of all time. When you’re tired of sucking dust and sweaty profusely, songs like “Time Bomb” will motivate you while “Ruby Soho” and similar tracks remind you that later on a fantastic party is coming together that will leave you with a fantastic hangover the next morning.
3. This Conversation Is Ending Starting Right Now – Knapsack
Seems the best mowing albums often come from California-based bands like the great, but now defunct, Knapsack. The sun seems to dawn on the state year-round, causing beautiful women to flock there with a frequency not unlike the rain in our native Seattle. As a result, Cali bands often have more energetic rock songs than other bands, and rocking out while mowing the lawn is very important. This Conversation… works wonders in pursuit of that goal and sneaks in a great piano ballad (“Cold Enough to Break”) just to keep you on your toes and make sure you don’t get too hyped up to relax when the task is completed. Knapsack assures you’ll finish with a feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment by closing the album with the great “Shut off the Lights.”
2. Waters and Solutions – Far
On second thought, mowing doesn’t always have to be set to fast, up-beat rock. Sometimes the world gets you down, and you need a loud, angry album to get you through the day. Which is where Far’s Water and Solutions comes in. Songs like “The System” are pounding, aggressive and catchy all at the same time, propelling you to angrily push that piece of shit mower around while you think about how much of a dick your boss is. Also, there are heavy pop songs like “Mother Mary” and “Nissle” to bring out the fiery passion you have for lawn-mowing.
1. Harmacy – Sebadoh
One album can satisfy a whole mowing job if it has dynamic changes from nice, sad songs to sweet and bitter songs. Sebadoh’s Harmacy is such an album. Songs about girls!!! When the old lady is getting you down, or when she isn’t getting you down because you don’t have one so your balling cause you don’t have one, this album takes your mind off the shit work and gets you thinking about other shitty problems and the time goes VERY fast!!! Songs like “Ocean” and “Willing to Wait” make you cry tears and since the sun is shining, they dry so fast that no one can tell you’re a sorry bitch. Not to mention there are great instrumental tracks to keep you from going girl crazy while doing the nasty mowing deeds like “Hillbilly II.”
If you’re wondering why in the hell this is so descriptive, you must realize that, yes…this is all from personal experience. Mowing, you see, is my life. And these are the albums which will lead you down a path of mowing righteousness.
Note: (Paul Hermann is a recent addition to the Nada team and one who’s already contributed a good deal of content. He’s also my personal protege, a talented singer/songwriter and might be a real-life angel sent from heaven. – Ed)