Their vocal harmony-driven surreal pop sensibility stood in stark contrast to the grungy testosterone-addled sludge rock that overtook the Jersey Shore in the early 90s.
After independent releases (including their Steve Albini-produced debut) the band toured for a few years (with Pere Ubu, and sharing the stage with Yo La Tengo and Jonathan Fire Eater), and the band went on hiatus in 1997.
In 2009, they reformed to headline a benefit concert.
Then, in August of 2020 while the world was stuck inside during quarantine, Erik sent a text to Mikael, Chris and Craig about working on some ideas.
With a mix of trepidation, excitement and curiosity, work on the just-released Arizone! began.
The only rule that was set forth was that any idea presented had to be brand new and created in the moment. Each of these ideas yawned their way into existence during what could be described as a slow-motion improvisation.
Over the course of the next three months more layers were added, lyrics written and sung, edits made, mixes scrutinized and then by Thanksgiving of 2020 it was released on Bandcamp for one week until the word came in that Omnivore Recordings wanted to put it out.
This creative reconnection was a potent experience and it’s clear that these four guys love making records filled with joy, humor and songs about breakups and mixtapes. Available on CD, Digital, and double LP, it’s time to book your trip to Arizone!.
1. THE CROW FLIES
2. THE MIXTAPE
3. KEYSTONE COPS
5. UNDER THE TABLE
6. THEY DID THEIR BEST
7. COMES AND GOES
8. LAUGHING IN THE FACE OF LOVE
9. WHAT’S MY LINE?
10. YOU SHOULD BE PROUD
11. MAKE THAT DRINK TO GO
12. BETTER BELIEVE
13. IN JEST
15. NAKED IN LAS VEGAS [Bonus Track]
This vibrantly authentic new album opens on the psych rocker THE CROW FLIES and the jagged foot-tapper THE MIXTAPE and backs those up with the lighter fare of KEYSTONE COPS, the atmospheric synth ambiance of the title track ARIZONE!, the transporting breeze of UNDER THE TABLE and then we get both the melodic THEY DID THEIR BEST and then the melancholy rocker COMES AND GOES.
Up next is one of my own personal favorites, the gently frenetic LAUGHING IN THE FACE OF LOVE which is itself followed by the psych prog rocker WHAT’S MY LINE?, the synth-laden, spoken word YOU SHOULD BE PROUD, the joyful pop rock of MAKE THAT DRINK TO GO, and then we get some beautiful musical complexions found within the laid back BETTER BELIEVE, the drum-led, pop-rock bounce of IN JEST, the album rounding out on the orchestrally-imbibed, AOR resonance of IMPOSSIBLE and the CD/Digital Only Bonus Track, the acoustically wonderous NAKED IN LAS VEGAS.
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