Party grunge-punks The It*Men released their remastered 2004 record, Greatest Its, with an additional six tracks onto a double-disc set, Greatest Its, Vol. 1 and Greatest Its, Vol. 2, this past June. Like something straight out of This Is Spinal Tap, The It*Men fabricated a long rock and roll career and debuted with Greatest Its as if it were (you guessed it) a greatest hits album. Clever? Maybe. Without knowing that The It*Men are part rock-mockery, you might shake your head at certain lyrical clichés like “You got me hotter than the sun,” “Let me introduce you to the rock and roll,” and “Her high heels make the front page news.” Regardless of the obvious tongue-in-cheek cheesiness underlining both discs, The It*Men channel influences like AC/DC and Deep Purple to craft some catchy tunes like “What’s Up Action” and “Baby I’m Your Man.”
The Cleveland rockers decided to get back together and rerelease their 2004 album with six new songs in order to raise money for lead singer Ken Janssen once he was diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease). Despite the severity of the situation, the newer songs keep to the same lighthearted, dive bar rock feel. “Death Machine” racks up over 21 minutes of rough vocals, solid drum and guitar solos while pumping out the repetitive line, “Take me for a ride on your death machine.”
Greatest Its, Vol. 1 and Greatest Its, Vol. 2 by The It*Men combine the attitude of rock and roll, the high energy of punk and the grittiness of grunge to create their own kind of experience. Stale beer and friend’s basement not included.