AAIIEE - folly

by Jeff Penczak Rating:5 Release Date:2017-04-21

The band known more by a symbol than a name (hence the unpronounceable compromise) return with another set of challenging frat boy humour, from the spoken word self-explanatory ‘The Sportsman’ (a litany of singer/screamer Jeff Larson’s favourite pastime), the intentionally misspelt trainwreck ‘Keep Clam’ and the irreverent destruction of Nick Drake’s cherished ‘Pink Moon’. The later gives you an idea of where these heads’ heads are at – rock and roll is supposed to be fun, goddammit, and if we have to rape and pillage cherished institutions like Nick Drake to cut out rock’s pretentiousness, then we’re damn well gonna do it…and have fun while we’re at it.

Other frivolities include the bouncy pop jingle jangle of ‘Last Temptation of Lar’ (Larson’s nickname), the tribute to Minneapolis minimalist punkers ‘Hüsker’s Guiding Who’ (complete with a lyric cop from Paul Weller and The Jam!), the gnarly slice of surf foam, ‘Phloom’, and the new dance craze, ‘Here Come The Ducks’, complete with a “quack quack” here, “quack quack” there, everywhere a “quack quack” that soon becomes more grating than funny.

AAIIEE are obviously having fun in a “reliving your childhood and making up for lost time” sort of way, but there’s a little too much “you had to be there” to really grab the audience’s attention for more than a few songs. The epic, 11-minute proggy title track is unlike the rest of the album (it’s even separated from the rest of the tracks in the track listing), and suggests the band could really stretch out and play serious music when it wanted to. Unfortunately, this is not their preferred modus operandi.

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