Intimate Lo-Fi Bedroom Pop
Plastic Response // Death Records – March 6, 2017
Those who have seen Dr. Paul perform live can tell you that it’s a unique experience to take in. It’s like going to watch psychedelic karaoke where the singer has written all the songs themselves – the tracks flow into each other, one right after the other, to the point that it becomes disorienting. Calling Daddy Anarchist, in its recorded form, gives the listener the benefit of being able to listen to the music one song at a time, allowing time to digest things and better understand what Dr. Paul is trying to get across.
The album opens with “Artificial Significance,” setting the aural tone for the album with lo-fi, laid-back guitar, affected vocals, and a drum machine chugging in the background – the repeated ‘the future’s just ahead’ has a way of getting stuck in your head. “Up To My Wasted” has an upbeat feel, instrumentally, but lyrics like the opening line, ‘not even the sun can bring me up anymore,’ have a way of making it lonely. Later in the album is “King of Crash Landings,” which alternates between laid-back verses and a more intense chorus with the memorable lyrics ‘it’s like screaming in a vacuum with a knife in your eye // the king of crash landings here saying goodbye.’ My favorite of the album is “Trouble Sleeping In,” which may also be the album’s most accessible and catchiest track – it has some of my favorite lyrics of the album, like ‘wait… I can grow back my long hair // too late… now the timing isn’t there’ and ‘if you ever want for nothing, you can get it over here.’ A few songs later is a solid cover of Beat Awfuls’ “Jackie Ono,” another Lexington band that Dr. Paul plays in.
Calling Daddy Anarchist explores dark feelings of loneliness and disappointment through some really intimate-feeling lyrics and storytelling, though Dr. Paul does a nice job of sprinkling in occasional pieces of humor throughout. Those that like other Lexington acts like Beat Awfuls, Cherry Crush, and Jovontaes ought to really enjoy this.
Tracks I Liked: Artificial Significance!!, Diane Lives too Fast!, Up to My Wasted!, King of Crash Landings!, Trouble Sleeping In!!!, Air Guitar!, Jackie Ono!
Ben Southworth – April 10, 2017 – Kenwick Place
Genre: Psychedelic Rock
Jovontaes’s most recent release, Paranoia Makes a Crazy Gift, is yet another strong release from one of Lexington’s best lo-fi psychedelic rock bands. It starts with a rising lone tone, and then jumps into the spacey riffing and rattling of “Can’t Surf,” where it stays for a good four minutes, before continuing on its way. Track two, “Molasses,” is aptly titled – it flows around slowly, finding the band grooving along to a central tonality but ambling along to the whim of a largely improvisatory feel from the band members. This isn’t to say that the music is sloppy or that it doesn’t develop – the three play together to know when to add to the sound and when to take away, and the music here definitely has that sound. All this said, the music found on this EP is great, but it’s best heard live. You might be thinking “But this sounds pretty live to me…” And it probably was recorded that way, but Jovontaes are one of those bands that sound exponentially better when you’re in the room with them, plus it’s a ton of fun to watch them all interact with one another. It’s lucky too – the guys are playing the first leg of their tour tonight in Kansas City – but you should be able to catch them when they get back. As the album closes with “The Bend Before the End,” the guys have hit their stride and finish with a mess of noise and a final electronic whistle, and this Lexington band that many find difficult to pin down are done for now, but they’re always working on something new.
Ben Southworth – Boston, Massachusetts – May 31, 2013