Revolutions Per Minute
Jason Trachtenburg comes from an alternate universe, one very similar to ours except for the laws of music theory. In this amazing place, commonplace chord changes sound out of whack, and vice-versa. Lyrics that fit melodies like hand-me-downs from an alien species are seen as the epitome of selling out. A voice that teeters on actually reaching those high notes makes the girls swoon and faint. XTC, They Might Be Giants, the Presidents of the USA, and Jason Trachtenburg all come from this place, and I wish I could live there.
Revolutions Per Minute, produced by Chris “Big” Ballew (Presidents of the USA, the Giraffes, Subset) and Conrad “Numero” Uno (who’s fiddled with knobs for Seattle’s best), contains plenty of those moments where you don’t know whether you’re grinning at Trachtenburg’s askew lyrics, charming home-made guitars/drums/bass sound or adolescent vocal quaver. On “Deliver The Stuff,” he lets what could very well be the wage slave’s anthem, with lines like “I’ll make more in my lunch break than you’ll make in fourteen days.” “Halloween” is an acoustic waltz with lyrics reminiscent of Bob Dylan’s fragmented poetry. “Used Cars By Bob” is a place where you end up with Bob’s Aunt Arlene’s Saab. And “Hierarchy Rock” has memorable words like “time won’t heal his late model automobile” and “keep on working till your shift is through, the government won’t lie to you in case you forget how the meandering melody actually goes.
I can’t stop listening to this. It’s cheaper than the faster-than-light travel you’ll need to visit Trachtenburg’s home universe, and certainly more comfortable than the transition through the black hole. Consume now, and it will consume you in return.
Orange Recordings, 1020 W Belmont, Suite #2, Chicago, IL 60657; http://www.orangerecordings.com/