Occasionally I receive CD's from local bands that need some constructive criticism, to put it politely. Today I've got two for you...
The first, and least offensive, is Captain Squeegee and the Soap Suds, which other than earning an honorary doctorate in dumb-band-naming, really need to figure out what the hell they're doing. Is this adult contemporary? Is it Morphine-style horn-rock? Is it math-rock (sounds like they're trying, but failing miserably at the choppy-timing thing)?
There's a lot to be said for eclecticism, but this is way too all over the place (within the same songs) to be anything but annoying. The band's latest EP, Behind the Metal and Metric Pace, starts off with "Changed," which is aggravating enough for the first three minutes, but then they bust out into 311/Sublime (puking in my mouth a little just typing those band names) style ska/punk (now I'm puking in the trash can typing that stupid fucking term).
Here's a suggestion — pare down your band, figure out what the hell kind of music you want to make, and change the fucking band name. You'll get a lot further if you know what the fuck your identity is, what kind of music you want to make, instead of throwing every cliched piece of crap horn-infused jam band-ish shit on a record.
Next, on Shredder day (btw — on my colleague Stephen Lemons' blog Feathered Bastard, Wednesdays are hot girl day, so check it out and grab the Jergens), we have Sound of Birds, whose CD Home Demos & Such (at least they're honest), leaves much to be desired in both originality and execution.
At least the band admits these are demos; the problem with it is that they don't know the definition of the word "dynamics." Every song is dull from start to finish; there are virtually no buildups, nothing interesting to compel the listener. It sounds like the band is coming from the Codeine school (which was a great and unique band some fifteen years or so ago), but this is just plain fucking boring.
Do yourselves a favor, save the demos until you've developed them into something that's halfway entertaining. Establish an identity outside of morose, monotonous songs that make me want to fall asleep (after I turn the fucking CD off). Maybe the instrumentalists are just amateurs, but learn something other than simple, minor key chord progressions. Get your shit together.
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And, if you'd like to scope it yourself and agree or disagree with me, here's a couple of songs, feel free to comment.
Captain Squeegee and the Soap Suds - "Changed": http://media.newtimes.com/id/641000/
Sound of Birds - "Lover": http://media.newtimes.com/id/641002/