by Ed Sofield
AUTHOR’S NOTE: This is not another installment of Wednesday Again. This particular column will be an unpaid advertisment for my fave band, SELF, from Tennessee, and their new masterpiece, Gizmodgery.
When people hear the phrase “Concept Album,” certain pre-planted notions pop to the front of their minds. (1) – Styx. (2) – Queen.
(3) – Guns n’ Roses “Use your Illusion.”
Get ready to add number four.
Since mid-1999, the front-boy of Self, Matt Mahaffey, had been talking up a new project the band was working on. It was to be an entire album written and recorded with toy intruments. While this might sound like an amusing idea while stoned, the more this author thought it over, the more he thought it would be an impossible plan to pull off.
I hurredly unwrapped my copy three weeks ago and discovered a complete masterpiece. Melding hip-hop, heavy rock, love ballads (aptly named, ‘ilovetoloveyourlovemylove.’) and even throwing in a cover of the underappreciated Doobie Brother’s tune, ‘What a Fool Believes,’ this record seems to be a perfect work of art.
Audible are many of Matt Mahaffey’s main influences: Prince, Prince, and some more Prince. In fact, I could have sworn that most of these songs had already been put on tape using normal rock instruments.
Listening closely, though, the listener can decipher some of the generic toy cell phones used throughout Gizmodgery. Also evident are some of the Disney toy keyboards and those completely rad Kay-Bee Toy-style keyboard git-fiddles. This author suspects some sneaky-like behavior regarding the drums, however. They just sound too damned good to be a Mickey Mouse set.
This is not a record for everyone, of course. As always, Mahaffey’s lyrics are somewhat ridiculous, though that is why this authour loves ’em so much.
For more information, or to order: http://www.spongebathrec.com
Tell ’em Ed sent ‘ya!