Beep Beep Business Casual

[Saddle Creek; 2004]

Styles: dance punk, shiny-garage-pop fusion
Others: The Faint, Xiu Xiu, Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Recent Saddle Creek signees, Beep Beep, bring forth their debut album in the form of Business Casual. Beep Beep prove to be an explosively energized band, with short and to-the-point, two-to-three minute songs, save for the final track on the album, "The Threat of Nature" (how's that for a clever song title?). At times, the lyrics take the twisted sexuality approach, reminiscent of Xiu Xiu's stylings; other times, they are attempts at witty observations of societal norms. It seems as though the band tries to gain some edge by speaking on certain "taboo" subjects (is there still such a thing?) with caca words and never-tell-mom scenarios to boot.

The music itself meshes with these lyrical aspirations quite well. The instruments are clean in a latex-sexcapade type of way -- squeaky clean in many cases, while keeping a brash sensibility the whole way through. The quick-dizzying guitar fills and isosceles triangle-shaped strumming adds to the urgency the music carries -- the quavering vocal approach does the same. On the songs dealing with "sexual deviance," the singer seems intent on evoking some effeminate sensuality while remaining frantically aggressive. In the end, this stylistic decision fails when compared to, let's say, a Karen O.

Despite Beep Beep's shortcomings, they do get over on energy alone. As long as you don't let the vocals begin to grate on your nerves, you should be okay and able to enjoy the music to a certain degree. Chalk up Beep Beep's misfortune to bad timing. The style they're going for is borderline-trendy right now.

1. I Am the Secretary
2. Oh No!
3. Misuse Their Bodies
4. Giggle Giggle
5. Electronic Wolves
6. Chewy Poison
7. Executive Foliage
8. The Fluorescent Lights
9. Vertical Cougar
10. The Threat of Nature