The Melloncollies may share their name with a Smashing Pumpkins album, but their bouncy optimism is as far from Chicago’s alt-heroes as Tuvan throat-singing. With a sound inspired by the punk-flavored crooning of the early ‘70s, The Melloncollies bring us Goodbye Cruel World, with lyrics worthy a teenage girl’s diary, but none of the fuzzy covers or cheap locks. It’s an endearing, but ultimately charmless, attempt at summarizing epic teenage angst.
Goodbye Cruel World is a short album, with songs that, true to punk form, are short on length and even shorter on chord changes. Unfortunately, this solid start is undermined by high-pitched vocals and paint-by-numbers lyrics that embody none of punk’s wit or inventiveness. The Melloncollies sounds tight and well-rehearsed, but it’s done in by an overwhelming soullessness that makes their music blander than a manila envelope taped to a beige wall.
The Melloncollies, like all my high school girlfriends, loses what little charm it started with after not long. Goodbye Cruel World oozes misplaced nostalgia. From the squeaky synthesizers lurking like a raccoon behind the guitar on “Bullet In My Sunday” to the incessant whining of “Why Oh Why,” the album annoys with its simplistic and loud stabs at timelessness. It’s sure to please anyone who’s 15 and female, but anyone else is far better off with the Cheap Trick cover band at your local bar.