Gatsby`s American Dream

Gatsby`s American Dream

Written by: TL on 01/10/2006 17:08:03

Somewhere in the space between clever hooklines you'd expect from a band like The Academy Is..., arrogance you'd find in a Brand New song (like "Okay I Believe You But My Tommy Gun Don’t") and odd compositions resembling Motion City Soundtrack songs, floats the sound of a band some have come to know as Gatsby's American Dream. On this their fourth and, this time self titled, full length the band takes its audience on a rocky ride through 11 tracks of punkish indie-rock that is entirely their own.

On "Gatsby's American Dream" the whole concept of being a band in today's music industry is up for a serious bashing. With lyrics so incredibly intelligent, self-conscious and witty that you would have thought NOFX wrote them, the band lands blows on drone-like behaviour in society on "We Can Remember It For You Wholesale" while seriously getting on the back of record-labels with the brilliant "Badd Beat". On top of this, this is a band that doesn’t give a rats ass about conventional songwriting and verse-chorus-verse-chorus-chorus structure, which is expressed in every single song and in the overall sound that has that punk/garage feel to it and can only be described as unpredictable.

The issue that many fans of the album's whole message easily overlook, is the complete dominance the message has overtaken on this record. The songs seem to be mere vessels for the messages they contain, and not as real 'songs'. Everything is apparently wrapped around slapping consumers in the face, more than it is about making good music. On "Margaritas And Cock" the frontman proclaims "I've got a lot to say, I've got a lot to say" and after this album all I'm thinking is "Well, I got that now, are you going to say something soon then?". The band stresses the need to express oneself as a musician but fails to express much else than their displeasure with the state of the music industry.

This quite typical punk-illness isn't nearly enough to seriously bring the album down though, and neither is the horribly annoying, piano and gang-shout-driven "Filthy Beasts" (although it comes damn close)". As a cultural elitist and snob (aka a reviewer) I must love and reward the awareness this band exhibits. This kind of intelligence is, after all, in somewhat short supply these days, and the irony of this whole thing is not lost on me.

Download: You All Everybody, Badd Beat, Station 5: The Pearl
For the fans of: Brand New, Motion City Soundtrack, The Academy Is...
Listen: MySpace

Release date 08.08.2006
Fearless Records

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