Well, at least they are upfront about their aspirations.
Longboat’s latest album, Unpopular Songs for Unpopular People, purports to be an exercise in subverting indie-pop tropes, which is the sort of thing that I can usually get behind if done right. I’d say that the subversions don’t hit the mark, but after experiencing Unpopular’s boorishly-messy sixty-three minutes, complete with keyboards that could have been done better by Ray Manzarek’s corpse and a lead singer whose boorish voice and detached demeanor bring to mind Marcy Playground, I’m not sure what mark Longboat was trying to hit. To hear these guys tell it, the world sucks, everything in it sucks, and everything that could be good about it will suck in due time. Aren’t those common music tropes? The wittiest song here, “Last Words”, is a collection of the last recorded words of noteworthy people, most of which are darkly comedic given the expressed optimism, set over too-cheery music. For many artists, this would be deemed a good start. For Longboat, “Last Words” is a good place to end.
Whew... OK, for the record, I harbor absolutely no ill will toward this reviewer. Maybe he got up on the wrong side of the futon that day or something similar to jar him out of a Longboat-esque frame of mind. I'm just left scratching my head at a few of the pronouncements here - mainly the "everything sucks" part, as it's not accurate. If he'd actually listened to the entire album, he would probably discover that he was in error. For example, I really go out of my way to sing (literally) the praises of the CERN Large Hadron Collider in "Supercollider," because it's an unbelievable achievement of humankind and so forth. He must have missed that. I also discuss how fun it is to hang out with smart drunks in "Gutterati." That, too, seems not to have registered. In fact, to my recollection, there isn't a single track on the entire album - except for maybe "Tuesday Night" - about anything sucking in either the past, present or future. My guess is that he listened to the first and last tracks and extrapolated everything in the middle, while noting the running time for due diligence. That's only a guess. I'm not saying that it would be his cup of tea if he'd listened to the whole thing, but at least I don't think the review would be as off-base as it is. So he didn't like the album. That's fine. But he should at least be accurate in his condemnation. That's all I'm saying.
Oh, and he should probably use the word "boorish" in either its adjectival or adverbial forms just once per review. But to be honest, while making the album, I did have my engineer EQ my voice especially to bring out its boorishness.
And also for the record, I've never, ever heard anything by Marcy Playground. Are they any good?