I was talking to Freddy of Hard Place about a show they had recently done with a band called Pizza!; I had been drawn in by the band name. On one hand it seemed like they put no effort into the name ("What do we call the band?" "I dunno, Pizza?") but on the other, who hasn't screamed like a child at the thought of ordering pizza? You're a cold hearted bitch if you don't get excited about pizza.
At any rate, Freddy said they were great and the proceeded to quote some awkward/dorky lyrics they have about there being fags of every sexual orientation. Betrayal!! This band used to be called The New Motherfuckers and that seems a lot more accurate, luring you in with promises of pizza and then delivering lyrics about social issues. Immediately I felt like I was back in the nineties -- the bad part of the nineties where I was in some basement at a house show that Sweep The Leg Johnny was permanently playing with a bunch of SXE hardcore bands whose scene was 'inclusion' (but were always made up of a bunch of white guys, funny how that worked out) and one band I wanted to see.
Betrayed or not, not only did Freddy say Pizza! was pretty good but Elton Tom said he always liked The New Motherfuckers -- he always turns me on to good stuff. Also, this album is free so I downloaded it.
So you don't get party jams, or feel good times, or anything remotely resembling pizza but you do get a good record. The band deals mostly in cold, new wave pop songs that generally stay the course but intermittently flare up, spazz, or do something you wouldn't expect. Its the aural equivalent of a facial tick. They have a strange way of arranging a song to offset their lyrics, which deal more with 'society' than 'personal issues', so that occasionally you think you might be watching a demented musical (this is especially true of the first song on the album, "Bird Dreams" and "Houses" and "Bloo Moob" towards the end).
At times I think they sound like an American version of The Passage, who I'll let Trouser Press describe:
Keyboardist/vocalist/composer/producer Dick Witts was the Passage, regardless of lineup shifts (at first a quartet, later a trio). A former percussionist with a noted classical orchestra, Witts and his fellow Mancunians made records that defy pigeonholing, evoking comparisons to Keith Emerson and Weather Report on one hand and Wire, Gang of Four and Joy Division on the other. The reviewer who sat them smack between early Soft Machine and the Fall may have come the closest of all.
Maybe its just me though, I've been listening to The Passage a bunch lately. But the synths and the lyrics... listen for yourself:
Pizza! - Griffith Park Fire
The Passage - The Half of It: Sissies
Ironically, it turns out that the song Freddy quoted from is my favorite. "Repress Yourself" is herky jerky new wave synth work out that switches gears into nineties guitar spazz and I'm sure you can figure out what its about. The lyrics are hilarious: "You say that god made you free/But you're retarded!"
Pizza! - Repress Yourself
Definitely check this out! You can download it here.