|Relient K "The Anatomy of The Tongue and Cheek" LP|
Ah yes, 2001, the year that Relient K were seniors in the world of punk rock high school. Their first record was good, no doubt, but the guys came back with 17 tracks and nearly an hour of pop punk goodness. It’s here that the dual singing punkers really put on a showcase for the immortals. Whether you are a fan of punk in the Christian scene or not, you have to admit this this is a record that is well composed, easy to digest, and right on par with Screeching Weasel, and others. It’s poppy, it’s punk rock, it’s “safe”? Yeah, “The Anatomy of The Tongue In Cheek” took on a whole new world of punk rock when released, and I was thrilled to hear them put on a showcase on tour with the likes of Five Iron Frenzy and Mxpx.
This is a much harder record than the original, at least in regards to the guitar work. The lyrical elements are funny, then there are serious topics like that of “Down In Flames”, which talks about hypocrisy in the Christian world. But it’s not so serious as the boys lament about the “Sadie Hawkins Dance”, and lots of carefully crafted laughable tunes. Again, these guys put on a showcase of comedy, and serious notes here and there, but mostly through the lens of pop punk.
Stand out tracks on this record abound including, “Pressing On”, “Sadie Hawkins Dance”, “Down in Flames”, “Breakdown”, “May The Horse Be With You”, and “Failure To Excommunicate” just to name a few. 17 tracks, nearly an hour of pop punk glory, and the guys seemed to really jump far from their initial release. This broke down the doors to mainstream success because with the success of this record, the band really made waves with their 2003 release, and of course that went Gold. Then they hit it big with “Mmhmm”, which got them on Late Night Programs such as Conan, etc.
Overall, “The Anatomy of The Tongue In Cheek” is a stellar example of how good the “Christian” scene was for some bands. Don’t get me wrong, there’s some terrible records out there, but these guys have been putting on a great showcase of punk sensibilities and pop songs for so long, it’s hard to compare them to others.