My high school years revolved heavily around punk rock, with me spending every penny I earned babysitting on albums clocking in at 30 minutes or less, attending local shows in American Legions and church basements, and counting down the days to the next Warped Tour. I’ve also always been a big fan of cover songs, so my liking Me First and the Gimme Gimmes is a no-brainer. The all-star-punk-rock supergroup-cover-band — comprised of Spike Slawson (Swingin’ Utters), Joey Cape (Lagwagon), Chris Shiflett (No Use for a Name), Fat Mike (NOFX), and Dave Raun (Lagwagon) — has put their own spin on practically every genre imaginable, with albums of showtunes, R&B jams, classics from the ’50s and ’60s, pop hits, and country songs, and in 2011 they tackled their biggest challenge yet: Me First and the Gimme Gimmes Sing In Japanese!

For the release, front man Spike Slawson actually learned how to sing the songs on the album in, you guessed it, Japanese. Rather than have Slawson learn the entire Japanese language, the band took a bit of a short cut by having one of bassist Fat Mike’s Japanese friends write out the lyrics phonetically for Spike. Then Me First asked a group of Japanese tourists to come into The Foo Fighter’s 606 Studio where they were recording the album to listen to the vocal takes and deem them “comprehensible.” So if you’ve been dying to hear punked-up versions of such classics as Takuryo Yoshida’s “Kekkon Shiyoyo,” Kai Band’s “Hero” and Tulip’s “Kokoro No Tabi,” Me First and the Gimme Gimmes have got you covered!

Me First and the Gimme Gimmes Sing In Japanese! is currently available on CD, colored vinyl, vinyl, and digital download, but to get the true Me First experience, you’ll want to head out to the band’s show at the House of Blues on August 10th. They’ll be playing with Old Man Markley during this very limited run of California shows before heading overseas, so pick up tickets now!

Me First and the Gimme Gimmes Tour Dates:

08/09 – San Francisco, CA – DNA Lounge w/ Old Man Markley, Runny, DJ Big Nate
08/10 – West Hollywood, CA – House of Blues w/ Old Man Markley, Runny
08/11 – San Diego, CA – House of Blues – w/ Old Man Markley, Runny
08/16 – Hasselt, Belgium – Pukkelpop Festival
08/17 – Biddinghuizen, Netherlands – Lowlands Festival
08/21 – Würzburg , Germany – Posthalle
08/22 – Chiemsee, Germany – Chiemsee Rocks
08/24 – Leeds, UK – Leeds Festival
08/25 – London, UK – Islington Academy w/ Good Riddance, The Flatliners
08/26 – Reading, UK – Reading Festival
08/28 – Stuttgart, Germany – Longhorn
08/29 – Zurich, Switzerland – Complex w/ Social Distortion
08/30 – Sesto S. Giovanni (Milan), Italy – Carroponte
08/31 – Mattersberg, Austria – Two Days A Week Festival
09/01 – Ljubljana, Slovenia – Galahala Open Air

For more info:

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