Considering how splintered the rock biz has become in the past ten years, and particularly the punk genre, it was only a matter of time before Two Man Advantage came along. Indeed, micro-mini niches are de rigueur if you're a punk rocker in 2001. Hailing from Long Island (the Big Apple's inbred cousin), Two Man Advantage is the world's first beer-and-hockey punk band.

Certainly the connection isn't much of a stretch. Beer is the drug of choice for most hockey players and their fans. Combined with the fact that hockey's appeal stems largely from its violent nature, it's no wonder you see beer-addled mooks pounding the arena glass with one fist, a cold one clasped tight in the other, as ice- skating gladiators collide mere feet away. (We'll leave the debate over the purported inverse relationship between glass-pounding and appendage size to another time.)

Sporting hockey sweaters, goalie masks and Canadian toques, Two Man Advantage (for you non-glass-pounders, that's a hockey term meaning that one team has two men in the penalty box) thrashes out decent hardcore riffs with metronome-perfect snare hits. Their two-minute ditties concern mostly hockey, beer, fast cars and faster chicks. Of the boozy tunes, "Let's Drink" features the memorable line "C'mon everybody, get fucked" and a shout-out section in which the boys yell their favorite brands. More originality arrives with the hockey-based tunes. "Pass the Puck" eloquently addresses the frustrations of playing with a puck-hog, while the insightful "Headhunting" describes the tradition in which massive rookie players hunt down the other team's best player to "test" him (meaning, drive his head through the boards).

Sure, this is a gimmick band. Nevertheless, they rock, dressing up mostly old-school punk elements and borrowing freely from U.S. (the Ramones) and British (the Buzzcocks) retro styles. We're not sure if they bring along referees who wade into the mosh pit to hand out penalties for roughing. Either way, rook, if you want to check out this show, better watch your back.

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Greg Barr
Contact: Greg Barr