Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Cassette Review: No Monster Club "People Are Weird" (Mirror Universe Tapes)

When I first heard No Monster Club it was "Posthumous Hits" which is a cassette from Already Dead and it had me thinking what the title suggests-- that these were songs put together and released after the band had come together for a short time and ended.    It's sadly not that uncommon in this day and age for a band to be around for a year or less, yet generate enough good songs that they can still be grouped together and released long after they play their final show.   Luckily No Monster Club is still alive or at the very least they made a comeback for me.  

Though after digging into the history of No Monster Club, I found that there does exist a cassette between this one and the last one I reviewed called "Fole Gras" and it sounds really familiar so I'm not entirely certain how I missed it.     In fact, if you go to the No Monster Club website and click around a bit you'll learn a number of different things including but not limited to the fact that for the most part No Monster Club is the project of one person despite it having that full band sound.  (And be sure to check out those associated acts!)

As it stands with "People Are Weird" there are two qualities that should be with most all music and those are the music itself and then the lyrics as well.    The music has elements of pop to it, maybe even bedroom, but it's overall just rocking.   Modest Mouse comes out at times, as does The Mr. T Experience, Vampire Weekend, They Might Be Giants and The Rocket Summer.   There are drum machines and there is fuzz.    Vocal patterns can resemble The Killers but the resemblence ends there.   

In some of the dreamier songs there is a Buddy Holly/garage vibe and that also brings out some Superdrag.    There are piano note loops and there are also organs ala the later years of The Gadjits.     It's catchy as hell indie pop melodic rock.    Is that a genre?    No Monster Club just has that sound on "People Are Weird" that make you think there should be a band out there somewhere that sounds like this so you could just say, "They sound like ____" but that blank need only be filled with the name No Monster Club.   (And yes, I am getting a lot of that lately)

In addition to the music that should be satisfying enough for any ears we have the lyrics.    The first song is called "Can't Get Enough Of That Hippy Dippy Bullshit" and those are the lyrics on repeat for the entirety of the song except sometimes "bullshit" is replaced with "spirit" (Potential radio single edit?)   

With a cassette titled "People Are Weird" you can kind of expect what the lyrics might be about and, yeah, people are weird so I can relate to it.   But the one thing that I didn't see coming was the song "Bad Example" which is about being true to your school.    Only recently, maybe within a week before I listened to this cassette, did I watch that clip where Jimmy Fallon reunited the cast of "Saved by the Bell" minus Screech and Lisa Turtle.   Even if I hadn't seen that, just because I grew up with "Saved by the Bell", I'd still be drawn to thinking about the time Zack Morris had to write a song about how much he loves his school when I hear "Bad Example".   

Realistically, "People Are Weird" is a cassette that you can put on and bounce around to without any problem because of the nature of the music itself.   The fact that there are these lyrics within here as well that make you want to think about them and remember things just makes it that much better as so many bands these days seem to have one or the other but often fail to have both.    But we already knew how unique and wonderful No Monster Club was, didn't we?  

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