Self

Self

Breakfast With Girls

Spongebath / Dreamworks

This, Self’s third effort, has been like a big brother torturously waving a seductively wrapped piece of chocolate in front of a baby’s face. With countless release dates in the rumor mill over the last two years, each greeted with an ecstatic enthusiasm from myself and others who have been touched by Self’s first two records, it seemed like Breakfast With Girls was never going to show its face. Thank god it finally did, though — it’s already become one of those can’t-live-without’s.

If the debut album is to be considered the “rock” album while the sophomore effort is to be their more electronic offering, then this third one has found a brilliant way of mixing the two without losing the engaging qualities of either. Matt Mahaffey, genius songwriter and main component of the band, has expertly merged his two musical worlds together to form Self’s full-sounding oft-distorted guitars with the accompanying samples of everything from choruses to video games. Add the hundreds of effects coming out of Chris James’s keyboards, infectious and sturdy basslines, and Mahaffey’s indescribably soft-yet-powerfully-encompassing vocals, and you’ve got yourself an album.

Unlike the first two, the tunes here take way more twists and turns than you’d expect from a pop-rock format. With more bridges than Madison County, song breaks and tempo changes, the average time for a song hovers around four and a half minutes and guarantees the painfully catchy melodies don’t ever get old. And the lyrics are as clever, witty and bitingly inter-inquisitive as ever, driving home the points in life we all might see but cryptically injecting the irony everyone seems to miss.

Breakfast With Girls is plainly a smart album. The craftsmanship that went into each individual note of these 13 songs comes seeping through, showcasing the occasional string section for good measure. Truly a more intricate side of Self, their basic catchy appeal and brilliant songwriting still hold steadfast and couldn’t possibly disappoint even the unfamiliar listener.

Spongebath Records, 101 N. Maple St., Murfreesboro, TN 37130, www.spongebath.net

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Recently on Ink 19...

  • Comin’ At Ya!
    Comin’ At Ya!

    The Blu-ray reissue of Comin’ At Ya, a 1981 3D Spaghetti Western movie falls flat.

  • Bobby Rush
    Bobby Rush

    Chicken Heads: A 50-Year History of Bobby Rush ( Omnivore Recordings). Review by James Mann.

  • Geezër
    Geezër

    Geezër brought their old-school show all the way from their Miami rest home, and Julius C. Lacking thinks they were quite spry.

  • Bully
    Bully

    Bully greets Orlando with apathy and anger toward one of its theme parks. Jen Cray smiles and thinks, “Man, this band would have fit in well in the nineties!”

  • Luther Dickinson
    Luther Dickinson

    Blues & Ballads: A Folksinger’s Songbook: Volumes I & II (New West Records). Review by James Mann.

  • Conway
    Conway

    Big Talk EP (Self-Released). Review by Jen Cray.

  • Freakwater
    Freakwater

    Scheherazade (Bloodshot Records). Review by James Mann.

  • The Haymarket Squares
    The Haymarket Squares

    Light It Up. Review by Carl F Gauze.

  • Ani DiFranco
    Ani DiFranco

    Years pass, and so do our legends, but one constant remains: there are always artists living and breathing that are worth your time and attention. Ani DiFranco is a major one, according to Jen Cray and a whole legion of fans.

  • Javier Escovedo
    Javier Escovedo

    Kicked Out Of Eden (Saustex Media). Review by James Mann.

From the Archives