What Would Midget Jesus Do?
I guess the answer to the question of this title would be, “Make a nice poppy inoffensive album.” Things start out in power-pop territory with “Money,” with lead singer Dave Fieldhouse answering his own vocal lines over an insistent Knack-like groove, and I started having high hopes that this would be a great adventurous find. But when the second track, “Excited,” slows things down for a self-pitying piece with the refrain “I know you’re gonna let me down,” my hopes sort of dissipated, and the turgid “Liar” (channeling Guadalcanal Diary and The Swimming Pool Q’s doesn’t turn out to be a great idea) and the dishwater-dull “Do With It” helped me write the record off.
On a second listen, it’s clear that when Midget Jesus turns on the jets, they’re a great bit of fun. The hyper martial beat of “Nevermind” actually helps to support Fieldhouse’s sadsack wailing, and “Coffee” is Cheap-Trick-portentous in all the right ways: “You was the plane and I was the crash / You was the dope and I was the stash.” I also really dig “Discotheque,” with its edgy epic sweep and funny lyrics: “She says she likes a guy who can do 100 pushups / I can do 99.” But tunes like this aren’t enough to overshadow the boring stuff.
This band’s strength is in the guitar interplay between Fieldhouse and Jon Cullen, and when they exploit that, they rock pretty hard. Once they realize this, they could be a pretty good band, rather than just an okay band with a pretty good name.
Midget Jesus: http://www.midgetjesus.com