New Copyrights release offers ultimate value

By Gus Bode

‘Button Smasher’ delivers quantity and quality

Gusheads:3 1/2 out of 4

One of the most prolific local bands at executing the “do-it-yourself” ethos, The Copyrights, has just released its second studio release, “Button Smasher,” on the California label, It’s Alive Records.


The E.P., released on vinyl with an added CD version, contains four songs of Ramones-esque, pop punk rock played at breakneck speed. Needless to say, it isn’t for everyone, but for those into catchy, melodic riffs that are easy to dance to or cruise around town to, “Button Smasher” is a release worth checking into. The tracks “Button Smasher,” “Let’s Get the F*** Out of Here,” “I’m Not Calling You” and “Our Turn” are excellent examples of The Copyrights’ range in songwriting, or at least in subject matter.

Being able to perform the songs at such a high speed does require a certain level of precision and skill, but it’s the group’s vocal harmonies that lend the most to demonstrating their collective talent. A lot of the time, good vocalization can take a back seat in punk rock and it’s good to see a band place a greater emphasis on that.

If there’s a single detraction from the over-all release it’s got to be the shortness of the recording. Sure, it’s an E.P., but it’s a punk rock E.P., which could mean the recording would last no more than four or five minutes. The songs are so upbeat and poppy that it’s almost too catchy for its own good. There’s the nagging need to hear more, but it’s not possible since there’s only four songs.

Although the look and feel of classic vinyl is something magical, it’s a real tease when it comes to having two Copyrights songs on each side. By the time the listener gets back to their seat and gets into the song, the side is over and the record needs to be flipped again. At least that’s what happened to this reviewer. Considering the low cost of the recording, however, things tend to balance out.

This is where the convenience of having the E.P. also available on CD comes into play. At first it seems pointless to have the same four songs in both vinyl and CD formats. However, people who listen to the record at home can also have it for their CD player in their car or some other mobile form.

Folks who only have a CD player can still have the neat-o looking vinyl in any of three colors:yellow, red or classic black. While the yellow and red vinyl versions come with the standard Playstation style controller on the cover, the black vinyl version comes with an Atari controller on the cover, thus adding to its collectability.

Just when it would seem It’s Alive Records would’ve invested enough money into this project, they’re also making available a sticker and small poster inside each record along with a lyric sheet. So, that’s three different kinds of colored vinyl, each with the same songs on CD, as well as an information sheet, lyric sheet, sticker and poster.


Those who purchase the E.P. from the guys at one of their shows pay a flat rate of $5, but anyone buying the E.P. from It’s Alive Records gets to purchase the vinyl alone for $4 with the option to get the CD upgrade. The record is also available online at and will also be available at The Copyrights’ record release show at 10 p.m. Friday at Hangar 9 with The Hangarounds and Rum Runners.