12 O'Clock Track: Vindictives, "Rocks in My Head"

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I fell into a deep YouTube hole of mid-90s midwestern pop-punk songs last week. It started when I revisited my favorite Sloppy Seconds moments while I was writing a preview for the band's upcoming show at Reggie's. Of course, when I think of those Indianapolis pop-punkers, I immediately think of Chicago's very own Vindictives too—not only because Joey and B.A. can sound eerily similar, but also because (along with the likes of Screeching Weasel, Boris the Sprinkler, and Squirtgun) they established the midwest's cred.

Taken from the seven-inch of the same name, "Rocks in My Head" is one of my all-time favorite Vindictives songs, so I made it today's 12 O'Clock Track. It shows off Joey's skill at simultaneously being self-deprecating and up-yours snotty, and as a bonus you get the perfectly harmonized backup vocals of bassist Johnny Personality—the band seriously had some of the best pop-punk vocal harmonies ever. Like the Sloppy Seconds' sound, the Vindictives' music is Ramones through and through, but with more grime and maybe an extra middle finger or three.

Weather update: It's in the mid-70s right now, the perfect temperature for thrash metal or sneering, classic pop-punk. I went with the latter, and I stand by my decision. If you need me, I'll be outside, humming catchy power-chord riffs and reminiscing about simpler times.

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