28 April 2007

Tris McCall & the New Jack Trippers / I'm Assuming You're All in Bands / Jersey Beat

Tris McCall is a smart-aleck. Armed with wit and an electric harpsichord, "I'm Assuming..." takes aim at Brooklyn and the politics behind being in a band. McCall's pointed humor tackles gentrification and alcoholism over the blipping and buzzing of a Baldwin harpsichord, opting to exclude electric guitar from the entire album. Lyrical in-jokes about NYC will elicit laughs, but variance in mood and catchy rhymes will keep you listening. Vocally, McCall's style shifts between rapid delivery story-telling and more reserved melody of mid-temp electro-pop while bouncy numbers dominate the record riding drum beats both real and programmed. Recorded live and with an impressive cast of musicians, including Charles Bissell of the Wrens, the album is raw enough to sound authentic but with ideal production for eclectic instrumental layering. If Billy Joel plugged his piano in, co-opted some style and struggled in Williamsburg, he might've had half of the originality and experience that comes across in "I'm Assuming You're All In Bands." - Joseph Coscarelli


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