The Pilgrims are a refreshing whiff of fun and stoopidity in a room full of angry rock and steroid farts. This all-too-brief excursion (six or seven songs) highlights the band’s unique skill at writing tasteful short ditties that are about as catchy and fun as you can get. Hell, I’ll even compare them to The Young Fresh Fellows while I’m at it, though I’ll have to note that Ben Morss’ vocal delivery reminds me of The Jazz Butcher’s smooth strangled yelp at times. The opening “Smile Into a Scowl” has a catchy beat to it, which unerdgoes some slightly uncomfortable melodic twists from which The Pilgrims always recover nicely — this particular musical gymnastic is something the band does well, and often. Alongside the traditional guitar-drums-bass we have some delightfully toodly organ and Moog lines sprinkled throughout. And if that isn’t enough to convince you, “Since You Said So Long” gives us this brilliant line: “sit on the phone, talking to my mother, wearing yesterday’s underwear.”
Still undecided? How about a sendup of Will Smith’s “Wild Wild West,” here repurposed as “Jar Jar Binks”? Yeah. I knew that would get you.
S.P.A.M. Records, Box 21588, El Sobrante, CA 94820; http://www.thepilgrims.com