The Presidents of the United States of America - These Are the Good Times People
Release Date: March 11, 2008
Record Label: Fugitive Recordings
If you're silly, then take it upon yourself to get off that couch and pick up the new album from The Presidents of the United States of America . Best known for "Peaches" and "Lump," the band has put their foot down—they will not be called two-hit wonders. Led by singer and basitar player Chris Ballew, the trio teamed up with Mudhoney producer Kurt Bloch for their pop-saturated new album, These Are the Good Times People.
From the moment the album opens with the especially-bubbly lead single, "Mixed Up S.O.B.," Ballew and company will have you grinning from ear to ear from start to finish. These Are the Good Times People features more than its fair share of clever lines, wordplay, and tongue-in-cheek bravado. The aforementioned single rocks significantly harder than your average slice of cheese-pop, with the basitar and guitbass out in full force. "The what and the what?" you ask. Without getting into too much of a history lesson, these two instruments were popularized by Ballew and former PUSA member Dave Dederer; the former is a guitar body with two strings, the latter has three strings.
Looking for another witty and utterly infectious song? Look no further than "Sharpen Up Those Fangs," an absolutely absurd track that is sure to dance around your brain like a pinball. Continuing with the offbeat humor, Ballew delivers a sparse mid-tempo ballad...of sorts. "More Bad Times" isn't your token love song but it'll do. "You twisted your ankle, I carried you/You got a divorce, so I married you/You fell off a cliff, so I buried you/Wish there were more bad times to see you through," Chris Ballew croons in this endearingly wacky cut.
"Flame Is Love" features a slick retro-rock vibe, with an interesting dynamic to it that distinctly reminds me of Josh Homme's side project, Eagles of Death Metal, much as does "Warhead," a gritty rocker that appears toward the end of the CD. "Deleter" may close the album, but it's one of the best songs on These Are the Good Times People. A catchy chorus is accompanied by excellent female backing vocals by Seattle jazz artist Fysah Thomas that really carries the song to a whole new level. What's not so great about this album is that there are a handful of songs that simply don't stand out among the bona fide hits on this CD. Cut two or three songs, and you've got a contender for pop album of the year.
Don't write off The Presidents of the United States of America just yet; they've been refining their sound so it's nearly flawless, providing entertaining instrument parts (especially for a trio) as well as witty lyrics that will keep you coming back for more. This isn't your expected so-called "novelty" band. PUSA are the real deal, and they expect you to take them seriously. Well, as seriously as you can, you mixed-up sonofabitch.
I havn't taken Pure Frosting out of my alarm clock for almost a month now. I'm going to see them play with Ludo on Monday and I'm super excited. Presidents were the first band I ever saw play live, and Ludo are some of the nicest guys I've ever met.
this year's Fountains Of Wayne? I think so. I'll check this out.
Kinda reminded me of Traffic and Weather
But I saw these guys live on Tuesday and the new tracks sounded great, could hardly distinguish 'em from the older ones in the set, people just weren't as jumpy during a few of them.
They can still bring the crowd, and the good times.