At their very best, This Bike Is a Pipe Bomb is a complete and total mess. Good intentions aside, this Pensacola folk-punk band is as unorganized as a co-op meeting, and one would assume their songwriting duties are divvied-up via a "chore wheel" or possibly by whoever is holding the "community talking stick." Vocals overlap at a frantic speed, tuning is optional, and if their records sound like they were haphazardly recorded in some basement, it's because they probably were.
Yet it's the flaws of TBIAPB that make them so enduring. They are absolutely pure, an unflinching look at all that is good about leftist culture and the freedom that comes with being in a punk band. Spawned from the same sweltering pool of Florida punks that birthed a thousand split 7-inches and grainy fanzine articles throughout the last decade, it was in this mass of neck-bearded kids that TBIAPB developed a hankering for monkey-wrenching punk songs to reflect the porch jams of early political folk music. While their onetime peers in Against Me have traded the zines for Rolling Stone spreads, TBIAPB have stayed militantly true to their cause. Like an audio Cometbus, TBIAPB balance cries for political justice with some cute tales of young love and inspiring snippets of a real punk rock existence. Plus they wrote a song called, "Of Chivalry and Romance in a Dumpster." How cute is that?
They are the populist punks, singing loud (and off-key) bicycle anthems for a generation whose main contribution to pop culture is protesting it. It's a perfect fit, especially considering our society's gradual slide toward the right and the hysterical. In the past year alone, a TBIAPB sticker has led to a bomb squad visit to the Ohio State campus, and the evacuation of a building at St. Joseph's University. If there was ever a soundtrack to sticking it to The Man, to Critical Mass rallies and taking some pride in your ride, This Bike Is a Pipe Bomb are it.