At times these guys just seem a little awkward. At other times they seem a little lackluster and unoriginal. For the most part, though, this works pretty well. Fun is the most common element here, making it the nitrogen of this musical atmosphere.
“My Brain Is in Space” is the first song and noisy sounds start it. They move out to an alternative rock jam from there. The song is a bit pedestrian, but it has a catchy chorus. “Peas in a Pod” feels like a cross between grunge and bubble gum. It is fun, but feels a little awkward. Dreamy and pop oriented, “Surfin’ Queen” is the best song of the first three. It’s got hints of retro music and a really plaintive, vulnerable vocal. The sound on “In My Pool” is more fresh and original. That gets this one more points. It’s another fun rocker, and definitely a step up from the first couple songs. Pop music at its finest, “The Foxy Girls” is another with a fresh sound. It’s also another strong one. A noisy rock sound with some fifties music built in is the idea behind “My Life in a 50s Cult.” It’s just not all that great. It seems a little boring. Dreamy textures are the idea on “I Can’t Get Her out of My Fun.” It works really well, especially when paired with the catchy song structure. There is a definite contrast between the mellower sections and the more hard rocking ones on “Well, That’s Some Robot (Radiant Action).” This song overall is quite grunge-like. It’s not bad, but not really a highlight. It seems that pretty much everyone of at least a certain age loves “Scooby Doo.” The song titled “Ode to Velma in C Major” isn’t direct enough to appear to be a cheap homage, but rather it comes across as a clever tribute. This is catchy and fun and a real highlight. At times “Hey, Fred!” makes me think of REM. It’s not a bad song, but it’s also not a real highlight. Another mediocre tune, “Stereo Mission” is just too much like the rest. Additionally, it doesn’t seem to have enough real magic to stand out. It’s one of the weak points of the album. The final song is titled “Good Vibes in Fashion Swimwear (When We’re Gone).” I love the imaginative combination of surf sounds with more modern music. There are some interesting nods to the Beach Boys, but also some psychedelia here. This is one of the cooler tunes and a great closer.
While not everything here works great, nothing fails miserably. The majority of the stuff lands somewhere in the good to very good range. There are some moments of brilliance, though.
Review by Mary Angela Tobin