Review: Mean Jeans, Smokes, Kepi Ghoulie 

click to enlarge mean_jeans.jpg

While the rest of you were at home Tuesday night catching up on your TV programs, Mean Jeans, Kepi Ghoulie and Smokes were throwing a party at the Hi-Fi with 40 or 50 of their newest friends.

The Maul of America tour stopped in Fountain Square on Dec. 2 with local upstarts Smokes — a new project by Tony Beemer, who will also DJ a late night dance party at the same venue tonight — playing out for one of the first times. The boys of Mean Jeans did double duty on the night, as they were the backing band for punk rock lifer Kepi Ghoulie. If this is how pop punk is supposed to be done, then we’ve all seriously underestimated the genre.

Not one to book punk shows, The Hi-Fi ran the serious risk of show-goers knocking something over and politely returning it to its original place before returning to their playful slamdancing. If Kepi’s set was the bubblegum rock jam soundtrack to our adolescence then Mean Jeans took us to the summer after high school graduation with a tireless transition into beer soaked carefree tunes perfect for house parties, bro hugs and never growing up.


It’s hard not to draw comparisons to the Ramones here. The vibe was lighthearted and youthful, and for a crowd of students and nine to fivers facing the rest of the working week, downright encouraging.

Remember when punk rock used to be fun? Well during this kickoff to the holiday season, it was again. 

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Kyle Jones

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