It’s not like all the open hearts are mediocre. Rather, it’s like the band is driving down the middle of the road between good and crap on each of those songs, and they veer back and forth, never really spending much time on the line, just spending all their time completely on one side of it or the other. I mean, some of them are mediocre. “Safe” and “Close Your Eyes, Kids.” But most of the others have a sweet, syncopated riff and/or some kind of snot-nosed groove that’s like The Rolling Stones meets Green Day inviting Seaweed, The Screaming Jets, and T-Ride to the party.
Wow, now that I re-read those comparisons, this sounds like the best band in the world. But they’re not because, you know, middle of the road driving and mediocre. Those bands are just a proxy for sound. And then I guess if you want to be all recipe accurate about it, there’s got to be some other crap band in there to sour the taste a bit, like Soup Dragons or something like that…but I don’t like to think about that part of it.
And I don’t have to, because the album is really good, and I really want to give the album four clowns, because for about nine or so of the 12 songs, I’m happy for most of the song, and with half of the album getting full hearts you’ve got a really good quantitative showing here. But in the end, I don’t really want to come back to that stretch of tracks three and nine where a mixer, “Overthrow,” a wonderful little ode to selling out with a take-no-prisoners approach and a guitar line that’s either loaded with harmonic anticipations or delays but I can’t figure it out because I’m just enjoying it too much pretending I’m a rock start with my tongue hanging out to care (but I think it’s a mix of both, which is awesome), is the only non-open heart. (Probably my longest sentence ever.)
Mix: “Overthrow,” “Mental Suburbaknights”
– “One Down, One Across,” “Pretty In My Uniform,” “25 Million: 1,” “Killer”
– “Standing Up (To The Voice Of America),” “Pinata,” “Climb,” “Nine,” “Safe,” “Close Your Eyes, Kids”
Song Notes: After the jump
- One Down, One Across –
- Pretty In My Uniform – starts with sample of uniform controversy.
- Standing Up (To The Voice Of America) – According to Wikipedia, “Voice of America (VOA) is the official external broadcast institution of the United States federal government.”
- Pinata – Hear some Green Day here.
- Climb – “Climb” has two syllables. “Cuh-lime up to the sky.”
- Nine – About a gun. I suppose a 9 mm. Def some Green Day going on here. Hate the chorus, but the dancey groove of the rest is cool.
- Safe – boring and … safe. Just does not grab me. Like they wrote half a riff and forgot to write a song around it. But harmless.
- Overthrow – starts with “reform/revolution” sample. not grabbing me. Except now it’s totally awesome.
- Close Your Eyes, Kids – The way it’s got that talk radio nonsense in there…so disturbing. God I hate talk radio. “They’re putting the devil/In my little angel.” Decent.
- Mental Suburbaknights – Green Day. Specifically American Idiot. But of course that album is from 2004, long after this one. Starts with “I don’t care” sample.
- 25 Million: 1 – About the lottery
- Killer – “You’re a killer now”