Awkward one-off folk/punk project band from “five veteran Columbus, OH scenesters.” The music isn’t bad, but for some reason I expected something a little cleaner. The more I listen to this, the more it grows on me, but after a half a dozen spins it still feels like there’s a very inside joke here that I’m not hip to. The music runs a huge gamut, from folksy jams to goofy takes on early Leonard Cohen. The tracks that really pop (“Novacaine,” “Queen of the Underground,” and “Half Off”) are essentially deconstructions of pop songs, but I tend to like it more when they really digress with “American Dream,” an awkward bass-driven march that just keeps going until the lyrics literally run out. This record is punk in the sense that it’s certainly music for outsiders, but you need to understand this is more a creepy smile while drinking beer with your friends than it is a folk punk record of anthems about smashing the state.
–Ian Wise (540, [email protected])