Eagerly anticipating their follow-up
Ian Murdock | NJ | 09/15/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I confess: I bought this album after hearing "I Love You 'Cause I have to" on NPR because of the funny band name. Well I think it's funny; the majority of the population thinks it's unweildly like a runway model carrying one of those giant hammers from Braveheart (since we're on the topic of Scottish culture). It's a good indicator of the contents and the public's response, however. Their fellow Scottsmen Franz Ferdinan, a much more lyrical name, is palatable both to coffee house intellectuals and frat boys. DDIHC's often spastic delivery and quick thought lyrics would elude most. It eluded me for about a year. I picked this album up last summer and sang along to a few choruses and chuckled not so much at the lyrics, but at the notion that a band that name-drops Catherine Zeta-Jones and Paul Newman probably has funny lyrics, so I should laugh at them. I recently found the cd in my trunk, and now I admire all the deeper production previously un-noticed and the clever lyrics.
For all their pub-chant inducing choruses, DDIHC are as accesible to the public as a 500 LB man's butt crack is to himself, and they don't really feel like reaching because they haven't stretched properly. XTC comparisons are all over the place, too recklessly for it to be intentional (think spilled drinks after a party), from the ambient noise of synths and guitar licks to the nasal vocals. XTC are rarely this anchored in the arteries of society; I hear more Talking Heads than anything else, especially in "Godhopping". "Covered in Flowers" wouldn't be at all out of place on this album, if it didn't come out 20 years ago. There's a lot of energy in this band, and the sort of social commentary that makes you feel good that you're not "one of those"... until they find where you were hiding and let you project the meaning of a song on yourself. Whether you're lazy/unemployed/unambitious ("Lounger"), or you run away from your problems and live in denial in shallow comforts ("Godhopping"), you rationalize breakups with unfair comparisons ("Celebrity Sanctum"), or you're just envious ("Paul Newman's Eyes", "Glimpse at the Good Life")... it's like self-help.
Every track has memorable lines and something that sticks in the balcony section of your auditory imagination and makes comments. This is the sort of boldness within traditionalism that causes me to continually peruse the world for new decent artists. There's no reason not to buy this album unless you're in the PETA."