Machine Go Boom
Thank You Captain Obvious
I liked Machine Go Boom before I even received the album for these reasons:
1. The album’s cover art is of a cartoonish smile carved into a pumpkin; 2. The name of the CD is Thank You Captain Obvious; 3. Their record label is called Collectible Escalators; 4. Their name is Machine Go Boom.
When I received the album, I liked them even more. Not only does the CD have “Thank you” written on it, but when you remove it from the case, underneath it says “Your Welcome.” And that’s all before listening to the first note of the album.
After one listen, they have become one of my new favorite bands. Thank You Captain Obvious harkens back to when punk was rebellious and completely anti-pop. This album sounds like a long lost recording from the ’70s. It fits nicely next to London Calling and Never Mind the Bullocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols.
Both “Captain Obvious” and “Hot Potato” sound like The Pixies met IMA Robot. Both songs are spastic, jumbled messes of beauty. “Hail to the King” takes all the niceties of music and quietly blows them away by repeating one guitar note and having a call and response session with a bunch of kids…screaming kids, of course.
Machine Go Boom also know how to write a great acoustic ballad. The Weezer-esque “Ms. Hepburn’s House” displays Mikey Machine’s softer side, like “The Sweater Song” did for Weezer. “Kamikazi Plane” could have easily been an outtake from Beck’s Sea Change. This guitar and piano depression serves up heart-heavy lines like “So would it be cool if I crash?” and “I’ll never be good enough.”
“The Kazoo Star,” on the other hand, is the one of the funniest songs ever made. It is about someone who achieves a #1 hit and “the most requested video” by playing the kazoo. What could be better than an entire song focused on the popularity of the kazoo?
Thank You Captain Obvious is one of the best albums of the year, because of its deft concoction of quirkiness and seriousness. Machine Go Boom has made one of the few albums where the cover of the album perfectly illustrates the contents: Nothing but pure enjoyment.