The Negro Problem
Joys & Concerns
This is one of those bands that I’ve heard about for years, but I could never quite figure out what they sounded like. Joys & Concerns shows why: a strong footing in pop melodicism, with hops and skips to other genres as needed (and sometimes, just for the hell of it). “Repulsion (Show Up Late For Work on Monday” is the opening track here, and a strong one at that. After a while you realize that vocalist Stew sounds exactly like Ozzy Osbourne at times. It’s somewhat incongruous, but you get used to it. In addition to Stew’s somewhat odd tone we have Heidi Rodewald’s sharp instrumentation and vocal support, and Charles Pagano’s solid rhythm work. The Negro Problem may be somewhat of an acquired taste, but so are a lot of original things these days.
Aerial Flipout Records, 8205 Santa Monica Blvd. #1-305, Los Angeles, CA 90046-5912; http://www.negroproblem.com