First World Fever
Every GSL album that comes across my plate I look on with potential of reaching the heights of Chromatics’ Plaster Hounds, a disc full of paranoid minimal post-punk and frightening songwriting. First World Fever, like much of the label’s subsequent catalog, has come up short.
Year Future’s politically-themed attempt here comes across like a more modest version of the Blood Brothers’ Burn, Piano Island, Burn. There’s the twisted surrealist imagery, sinister melodies and a steady thread of anti-Bush administration rhetoric spat by weaselly-voiced singer Sonny Kay. Unfortunately, at a time when anyone can laundry-list their beefs with Dubya and get away with it, the venom loses much of its sting. Sermonizing about America’s obsession with automobiles and plastic surgery does little to distinguish the band from the pack of groups that have been penning invectives like these for the last twenty years. These are undoubtedly problems that need to be addressed, but so is redundancy in popular music. More tracks like the epic, prog sprawl/squall of “Nature Unveiled,” with its thoroughly non-organic electronic components will bring these guys so much closer to that goal.
Gold Standard Labs: www.goldstandardlabs.com