Supersize It Under Pontius Pilate
Tokyo Rose Records
Culture Queer’s new platter might just be a perfect storm of poison-pill indie pop, new-band urgency and altogether wilder, more experimental tendencies. Bows, winks and nods to Athens’ stalwart Elephant 6 collective, Broadcast, Breeders and, like, the Residents abound. Songs shift and shimmer from jagged to silkily opaque, some containing choruses memorable enough that you’ll be kicking yourself all the way down the street, “I’m sure I’ve heard that one before,” until a splash of electronics or strange vocal effects bring you back to the races. What I’m fondest of, however, is their utter exuberance, like the massed shout of the chorus in opener “Huckleberry.” Every member of Culture Queer seems to have other things going, everything from photography and acting to higher profile musical endeavors like Throneberry and Burning Star Core, and maybe that’s what keeps this act from getting bogged down in the shitty minutiae of the entertainment business and everyday life. As it is, Cincinnati is pretty fucking lucky to have them hangin’ ’round town.
“Hindu Love Song” is awesome droning cult-mantra pop that might even give the Jonestowners (both Brian and cult) a run for their money. “Yanked Out Of Kindergarten” metamorphoses into several distinct suites of music — the best being a sugary sweet space rock groove — but they ditch that fucker for Moog nonsense. “Dulli” is almost musical theater, more Grease than indie, but dig that chorus. A quick noisy earbleeder like “Shout Therapy” reminds you that, during the recording of this album, they were a gloriously fucked-up power trio. So why not balance that out with “Corpus Christi,” a weepy minor chord lament — put it on a mixtape already, ya loser lovers. And closer “Extinction List” sounds like an outer-space torch song, beamed across galaxies straight to a broken ham radio. And imagine that all of the straightforward pop instincts are undercut by a bratty experimental streak? Someone has to.
Tokyo Rose Records: www.tokyoroserecords.com