The Presidents of the United States of America
Freaked Out and Small
Any record that features Chris Ballew, Dave Dederer, or Jason Finn is bound to get more than its fair share of spins around the Ink 19 offices. Bring the three of them back together as the Presidents of the United States of America, and well, you can figure out what we’ve been listening to – practically exclusively – for most of the month. While the sound is more raw, stripped down, and garage-y than previous Presidents efforts, the undeniable pop hooks and energy are firmly in place, making for a fun slab of raucous fun. Favorite tracks include the They Might Be Giants-like Star Wars paean “Death Star,” the driving “Last Girl on Earth,” with its ’50s rock breakdown, the jumpy “Blank Baby,” and the ironically punk rock thrash of “Jazz Guy.” “Tiger Bomb” shares some structural elements with the Pixies’ “Hey,” which ain’t a bad thing, and “Superstar” has a cool latter-day Replacements by way of the Who thing going. But come on, it’s the Presidents! Is there really any doubt that this is a great record? I didn’t think so! Buy it already, and watch for an extensive interview with Chris and Dave of the Presidents in next month’s Ink 19!
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