(Artwork care of Karen Ramsay (www.karenramsay.com), profile photo care of brianlackeyphotography.com)

Monday, July 19, 2010

CD review - Terror Pigeon Dance Revolt!, I Love You...(2010)

The full title of the new Terror Pigeon Dance Revolt! album is I Love You. I Love You. I Love You And I'm In Love With You. Have An Awesome Day! Have The Best Day Of Your Life!, which serves as fair warning: the songs all have a stream of consciousness feel with little filtering. TPDR has an earnest sense of naivete in their lyrics and vocal intonation that recalls They Might Be Giants or Freelance Whales. The effect is quirky, but pleasantly engaging.

Each track on I Love You... is centered around the vocals. The music is low fi, with most songs sounding crowded with keyboard layers over a simple beat. There are no leads or much in the way of melodic changes, so the album occasionally takes on a sort of electronic dance music feel. The vocals are often free sounding group chants with repeated phrases. The combination is somewhat experimental, but the band is so open, that you get pulled in, wanting to hear more. There's a joyous feel, even when the lyrics don't really fit that mood, giving TPDR an optimistic vibe.

The opening song, Snakebites, starts out with a They Might Be Giants approach. It's weird and a little bit dorky:
Someday we’ll explode.
We’ll be tiny particles soaring through the air
Away from the problems and it'll be fine.
It will be fine.
As the tempo picks up and the layers of music build, the lyrics become the singer's attempt to win back his lost love. The musical contrast lets the song avoid any whiny feel. This is interesting because TPDR seems so offhand about the music, but it buoys the song perfectly.

My favorite track is the affirmation, iotdwykiyhtbr ("It's okay to do what you know in your heart to be right"). The music is reflective as the group chants the title line repeatedly. The repetition builds, with cross-chanting and riffed lyrics in an improvised jam. The vocals here sound like some of Too Much Joy's work. Falling into chaos, the chant shifts to:
You're allowed to be scared, you're allowed to be frightened
But we're almost there, we're nearly enlightened.
The improvisational flow is sort of like a vocal drum circle: everybody finds their little niche to fill and use as a meditational focus.

This is followed by the unfiltered lines of My Favorite Hair. The contrast between the earlier uplifting song and this gushing plea for attention is stark. Despite the rhymes, the lyric here is delivered in a long free form stream. The music takes on a bit of a Supertramp sound, but it's so direct, personal, and soulful.

I Love You... is full of positivity and fun, which makes it a great summer time album. Pour some raspberry lemonade and feel young.

(Their MySpace page has some songs and here's their first single, Ride Friendship.)

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