Throw Me the Statue
What is it with these stupid band names? Sure, good music can get discovered on the grounds of its goodness, but why hurt your band’s chances of being taken seriously? Some stupid names of note: !!!, Fuck Buttons, and Test Icicles. And it’s not about names being crude, either. Buster Hymen & the Penetrators is crass, clever, and damn near classic. Throw Me the Statue is not a marketing nightmare like !!! (pronounced Chk-Chk-Chk) or a brainless mistake like Fuck Buttons, it’s just awkward and impossible to remember — which is a shame because the music is pretty good.
Scott Reitherman, head Statue, snatched the name from a mixtape he made for an ex, and both the randomness of his naming process and its unique source betray the band’s sound. Moonbeams is ramshackle and disorderly in the pleasant way the best mixtapes are, songs feature mismatching intros and outros that sound like completely different tunes, and Throw Me the Statue has never met an instrument it didn’t like — it takes no less than eight musicians to play everything from glockenspiel to euphonium. Thrown together like a suitcase for a weekend getaway, Moonbeams allures for much of its 50+ minutes, even though it’s about 15 minutes too long.
There’s more than a bit of the Magnetic Fields in the pitter pat of their drum machines and Casio burps, and a touch of Belle and Sebastian in their whimsical, bookish lyricism. Opener “Young Sensualists” yields a tale about a friendship ruined by impulses and indiscretions.
Moonbeams teeters masterfully between those types of introspections and more capricious rockers. The music is the perfect foil to the unpredictable passion of youthful independence, as twinkly xylophones and handclaps imbue tracks like “Lolita” with child-like charm, juxtaposed by lustful lyrics. Throw Me the Statue is equally adept with the Stones-meets-Weezer pep of “This is How We Kiss,” and the haunting shimmer of “Conquering Kids.” The essence of Throw Me the Statue’s appeal, “Conquering Kids” glides along on a shuffle beat, guitar, and accordion, while Reitherman infuses his best melody with the deeply reflective lyric, “I was young once but not today / I was making ground and things changed.”
Throw Me the Statue beautifully captures the moment in life when you are alive with wild, kinetic energy and freedom, while realizing your choices have fantastic repercussions, crushing consequences and maddening frustrations. This contradiction gives the music a soulfulness mostly absent from other bands that take a similarly cute, everything-but-the-kitchen-sink approach to pop.
Moonbeams is the perfect album for your next carefree summer. Think of the name as the tattoo you got during a late night lapse in judgment during that summer — stupid, but you’re charming enough to pull it off, aren’t you? Throw Me the Statue is.
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