Styles: indie blah blah blah, half-assery
Others: Superchunk, Emperor X, Daniel Johnston
I'm a bit puzzled at blurb excerpts from a few reviewers on 2004's Strike Date, with some poor dope suggesting it evoked Daydream Nation and another suggesting they sounded like early GBV demos as if they were sung by Mac from Superchunk. Yeah, maybe -- but that hypothetical material would still probably be better than Strike Date. My review of Strike Date is crass and mean-spirited, but I was left feeling sort of empty. Listening to this new material has made me feel a little guilty, but not that guilty.
With Collusion, the band's at least managed to bring more confidence and a little added sonic texture (horns, recorders, and tape noise) to the table. Take away my own, particular, distaste and I suppose there's a certain level of competency to this very familiar-sounding indie-pop mopefest. While they lack the full-tilt punk energy of, say, Cap'n Jazz, there's a similar melodic sense and scruffy charm at work. Yet the group's washed-out, maudlin-but-wistful sound has been done INFINITELY better by Cap'n, Lync, and others.
The band's got the advantage of not simply cashing in on one of the lucrative modern rock sounds in vogue at the moment. Some folks are no doubt nostalgic for this early-nineties-cheapie-bedroom-pop kind of stuff. Also, since there's some who may read this who haven't been exposed to these sorts of sounds, it should be stated that these songs embody a certain kind of charm. They're catchy and unassuming little diversions. It's pretty mild and occasionally sloppy (beyond the artful), but if the change from the last EP is any indication, they could have a fairly solid release somewhere in the future.
Opener, "Subtle Believers" is probably the most notable and is without a doubt infectious. Luckily, it's infectious in a way that doesn't leave red blotches on your arm. It's warm and nostalgic fuzz pumpee for a moment. "Tour the Shit..." is a sound, spacey interlude. Sometimes a phased-out interlude can serve to heighten the accompanying songs (EP - "Meeting in the Aisle" LP - "On The Run"). Instead, the rest of this plays like Perry Ferrell's imaginary little brother inna coydog repose. Not that there isn't a time for that. Lovers of shambolic lovefrump fuzzpop (I KNOW YOU'RE OUT THERE!!!) please take note.
1. Subtle Believers
2. Strike Date
3. Homeless Teeth Transportation
4. I'll Take Care of You
5. Tour the Shit Out of This Motherfucker