I feel kind of bad picking on a bunch of teenage kids in a band. Geez, if anyone had ever heard the songs I was writing in high school, I would have been picked on more than I actually was. On the other hand, Blood Pudding, my high school band, never got a record deal the way Southern California’s Something Corporate did, and we were better. So I feel no compunction about saying that this hybrid of Ben Folds Five and Blink 182 just isn’t very compelling or good.
Andrew McMahon, the piano-playing wunderkind behind this quintet, has an interesting way with a power-pop melody, I suppose, but “interesting” in this case doesn’t necessarily equal “interesting enough to purchase or listen to more than once.” And his “lyrics” definitely scream out for help. The chorus of “Little” goes like this: “Little minds let little games burn big old dreams with little flames/Little holes in parachutes won’t leave you falling/If they do, it’s because you want to land.” Um, yuck. And how the hell are you gonna call your girlfriend your “Cheshire cat doorstop“? I sincerely hope she gets payback in the most humiliating way possible, Andrew — it’ll be for your own good.
But what made me hate this disc is their unclever put-down of a bully who thinks he’s still in high school, “iF yoU C Jordan.” (See those capital letters? Get it? Get it?) An interesting subject, ruined by crapola like “I don’t care/If you dye your hair/You’ll always be a little red head bitch.” Dude: Ben Folds wasn’t all that good to begin with, so following in his ain’t-I-clever-and-privileged piano-playing footsteps is just a bad, bad idea. You and your pedestrian band might be better than a lot of other high school bands, but that doesn’t stop me from having visions of you guys meeting up with all-girl Canadian teenage death-metal trio Kittie on the road and having them kick your tighty-whitey SoCal asses like Pele in the World Cup.
Oh, and your band name sucks too. It’s not clever. It just sucks.