Attention! Blah Blah Blah (Hopeless)
by Ewan Wadharmi
Here’s the tally; Devo: Rock, funny, dormant except movie & TV music. They Might Be Giants: Seldom rock, funny again after a long stretch, active currently in children’s music genre. Dead Milkmen: Sort of rocked, I guess (funny expired 1991, Milkmen expired 1995). That leaves Me First & The Gimme Gimmes as the skipper, and his little buddy Atom & His Package stranded on the geek joke-rock island. The one man behind this band is cool jerk Adam Goren, who not only rocks on a regular basis, but pours out inventive sounds with the glee of a child wielding a new paint set. The corners of the songs are packed with acidic guitar riffs and brightly-colored electronics, which, like Goren’s voice, are often goofy but never annoying. Layers and overlaps of weird synth voices should have electro enthusiasts clamoring to hire out the production talents of Atom or his package, depending on which one is responsible. It’s an endearing idiot-savant-gard experiment so stupid it’s brilliant. Short attention span lyrics full of silly non-sequiturs and half-thoughts elevated to unnatural importance point out rock’s all too serious view of itself.
Even the heavy subject taken on by “The Palestinians Are NOT the Same Thing as the Rebel Alliance, Jackass” is given a humorous, though biting approach. “Impressed with your badass/I’m impressed with your defiance/now you do know that…(insert title)” This bulky phrase is sung-spoken with venom and neatly-inserted into the tune at the last possible moment with precision. “Please Stop Smoking” is a better ripoff of Paul Simon’s “Cecilia” than Offspring’s lame “Get A Job,” but fares the same for tobacco cessation. Our Arkansasian hero from Redefining Music’s “Undercover Funny” returns in “Matt Werth Speaks.” And it’s in Muppet voices that he does so. The composition of “For Aliza, Whenever She May Sleep” showcases Goren’s ability to create beauty, in case it was overlooked in the previous works. Although scaled down from earlier albums to a paltry 12 proper songs (14 to 20 are the usual range) Attention, Blah Blah Blah is filling and satisfying.
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