Tomorrow the World
Jump Up! Ska
What can you say about a band whose best known song (“Palabras”) is made up of a bunch of nonsense rhymes and a recipe for home-baked bread, and still manages to be catchy as hell? Chances are, you’d wonder if they can pull that kind of craziness off on a full-length record. Well, Greenhouse can, and have, on Tomorrow the World. The record is full of wacky ska songs about things like being left out of lesbian orgies (“Love Noise”), accidentally burning your parents’ house (“Fire Escape”), and being thirsty after gym class (“Agua”). You’d think this silliness would grow old quickly, but Greenhouse play the songs with absolute conviction and such strong musicianship that they easily stand up to repeated play, with a feel not unlike Let’s Go Bowling, but jazzier.
My favorite tune is probably the swingy “Super Trendy Retro World,” a scathing parody of the retro trend that includes sly lyrical references to the Scofflaws and a hilarious outright swipe of “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” The smooth, almost-loungey instrumental “Bocce Ball” is another standout, with some great solo work. The hyper-kinetic shout-along “Obsessive Compulsive Disorder” is sure to get your feet moving, while the Los Hooligans-esque “Women Around the Corner” swings along at an even pace, and both feature some tasty horn parts. For sheer weird, though, nothing tops the cover of a Korean techno song by the band Noise — sung in the original Korean!
The nuttiness of Tomorrow the World even extends to the liner notes, which includes such gems as crediting the lyrics of the instrumental “Bocce Ball” to “J. Christ,” nuggets of wisdom on ska, soft tacos, and selling out, and a photo of one of the band members on a scale, with the caption “ska is phat.” Greenhouse have created a fun, catchy record without ignoring the musical side. Not only is this funny, but you’ll actually want to listen to it more than once. Jump Up! Records, 4409 1/2 Greenview, Suite 2W, Chicago, IL 60640; http://www.mcs.com/~jumpup/WWW/homepage.html