While Denton, Texas, punks Bad Sports could very well be this generation’s most obvious — and obviously rewarding — Ramones descendants, they’re slowly proving that they’ve got a lot more going for them than a few pitch-perfect gabba-gabba-heys. On Kings of the Weekend, the band’s sophomore full-length (and Dirtnap debut), the fast-playing trio dabbles in glam and straight-ahead hard rock; blistering lead-off track “Off Switch,” is about as tough as these guys have ever sounded, all churning guitars and spit-slung words.
Lyrically, they bring tough talk (“I May Be Cruel,” “Can’t Just Be Friends”), humor (“I’m in Love With Myself,” “Get My Head”) and heartache (“You Don’t Wanna Know,” “Inside and Out”), and their songwriting maturation is evident not only in the varied lyrical themes, but in musical style as well. These tough guys notably invoke the Beach Boys on more than one occasion (“Sweet Sweet Mandi,” “Someday in the Future”).
Fittingly, though, Bad Sports wrap up Kings of the Weekend with “Days of Denton,” which guards the exit like some meatheaded aural bodyguard, watching out for riff raff and taking care of those occasionally explosive moments housed within. You get the feeling if there’s any trouble, they’ll beat on some brats with a baseball bat. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. After all, every crew needs its muscle.