Baron Zen At the Mall

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An unlikely release for a hip-hop label, At the Mall collects Baron Zen's "DIY 'til you die" punk rock from the Bay Area, circa 1989. Strummed and sung by Sweet Steve, with dysfunctional drums programmed by Peanut Butter Wolf (oh, now you get it?), At the Mall is a 14-track homage to jaded suburban teens drinking spiked Orange Julius and stealing Joy Division cassette tapes and comic books. The band's cover of Katrina and the Waves' 1985 classic "Walking on Sunshine" sums up the entire album. Suburbia sucks, but the boredom forces you to get fiercely creative.