Friday, December 18, 2009

Review: The Inactivists



Love Songs & Other Songs About Love

Have you ever wondered what would happen if They Might Be Giants started a high-energy funkish bar-rock outfit? They might just release an album entitled Love Songs & Other Songs About Love and call themselves The Inactivists. Just like the Giants, this Denver five-piece sings jocular songs about randomness. Unlike the Giants, The Inactivists embellish their words with a danceable, lively soundtrack that features an assortment of instruments—everything from accordion and theremin to ukulele and saxophone. Tracks like the folk/country “Song for Gary Glitter,” the disturbingly funky “Why (Aren’t You (In Love (With Me)))?” and the hilariously entitled reggae send-up “Lock Jah” demonstrate the band’s proclivity to write musically precise scores with absurdly witty lyrics. But make no mistake, even in the groups wackiest moments, it takes its unseriousness* very seriously. Like most of its contemporaries in the weirdo-core scene, The Inactivists are much more fun live. Regardless, Love Songs manages to be both manic and tranquil, catchy and atonal, and full of love and hate. It’s a folk-funk-rock journey into the psyche of five musically-endowed, neurotic nerds.

Other Highlights: the lovely jingle “The Last Song,” the even lovelier bonus track “Bonus Track,” and the insanely catchy honky-tonk ditty “Take Me Back”

*Might not be a word

3 comments:

  1. Of course, "nerd" is meant as a compliment. Cool people are lame.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I strive to be the least-cool person I can possibly be without sacrificing what it is to be me. You took the words right out of my mouth when you said "Cool people are lame."

    Anyway, The Inactivists are the greatest band you may never see. If there is such a thing as "crime" in today's world, it would be The Inactivists never getting signed and/or acvieving national/international recognition. The second you think they're just a novelty act, you, after careful observation and listening, realize they are a tour-de-force! See, all the serious points have already been made. Profundity has been accentuated in every imaginable way. So all the bands out there going for that have already failed, in my opinion. Or at the very least, they've just been long since beaten to the punch. The Inactivists have an angle. And while there may be nothing new under the sun, The Inactivists put a fresh twist on pain, heartbreak, and alienation. And this twist is not dark and morose, but rather, upbeat, funky, powerful, and teeming with energy. To play any one genre of music would be too easy for them. These are seasoned musicians. They are the pioneers. And they have nothing to lose.

    ReplyDelete
  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete