CF98 – This is Fine

I’m always a little more interested in music when it’s happening in seasonally cold and unfashionable places, so I was pretty excited to receive the link for “This is Fine” and see that CF98 hail from Poland. Proto-punk legend Ian Hunter often spoke of the magic of these parts of the world after touring with Mott the Hoople in the 70s. He noticed that their weekday shows in central parts of Western continents were always packed out with people having a blast, whereas fans often appeared too cool to outwardly enjoy themselves during their more high profile gigs in London, New York, and LA. This was the inspiration for the song “Cleveland Rocks”, which was later covered by Presidents of the United States of America, and became the well known theme song for The Drew Carey Show. Ian referred to Ohio affectionately as “The Poland of America”, making the point that both places were relatively flat and knew how to party. I think what he was getting at was that rock and roll is better when it’s unpretentious and fun, which is something people from these locales are particularly adept at. 

A little Discogs research shows that this is the band’s sixth full length, and that they’ve already been at it nearly 20 years. In every photo of them I’ve come across they appear to be making each other laugh, and genuinely look like old friends. They haven’t run out of ideas for great songs, however, and man are they tight! They have that flawless poppy technical precision that avoids sounding metallic, much like Chad Price era ALL. Albeit with an excellent female vocalist, CF98 sound like a cross between Rad Owl and Vanilla Pod, but comparisons could also be drawn to No Use For a Name in regards to how catchy these songs are. They wouldn’t be out of place stateside on Fat’s roster, or in the UK on Brassneck or Boss Tuneage, both in style and quality of the product. 

The lead off track “Double Sunrise” is one of those songs that not only rips, but also self-references the band, touring, and how much they appreciate what they get to do together. I love songs that do this, much in the same way I enjoy reading autobiographies or watching documentaries about bands I’m interested in. Although on a smaller scale in a song, it gives the listener some buy-in with the characters involved, and ultimately makes you care more about what you’re hearing. Thematically it brings to mind “An Indie Rock Daydream” by Sicko, “Victory Lap” by Riverboat Gamblers, and probably like 50% of all the songs by Bouncing Souls. It’s a great song, and one that’s hard not to put on repeat. 

Thankfully, the album doesn’t let up from there and gives us another 13 rippers over the course of the next half an hour. There really isn’t a skippable track on here, but some other favorites include “Catastrophist”, “Love Is Never Wrong”, and the album closer, “One Day At A Time”. I’d love to get my hands on a physical copy of this one, so here’s to hoping there’s some US distribution

–Zack Akenson

Track Listing:
01 – Intro
02 – Double Sunrise
03 – She Doesn’t Like
04 – Catastrophist
05 – Plot Twist
06 – Clever
07 – Better Than Cocaine
08 – Love Is Never Wrong
09 – Sad But True
10 – I’m So Tired
11 – Fuck You
12 – Infinity Stones
13 – Get Old Nicely
14 – One Day At A Time

CF98

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.