Everyone in the band professes
a love for Elvis Costello. I love Elvis C. too, but I prefer his
style of pop-punk to this. Or to their stabs at emulating his sound.
"Bad Gadjit" is "Radio, Radio" with a wispy
Ska residue. But it, along with the other Costello tribute, "B.C.,"
at least have some blood pumping through them. The standard-issue
ska ramblings throughout sound tired and downright boring. The drums,
keyboards, guitar are all rather flacid. Or maybe I'm just getting
tired of formulaic ska? Fact is, there ain't a lot of interesting
new territory being discovered here.
"Carnival Sense," with its "Jailhouse Rock"
intro, is uninspired bowling music thanks to the hockey-rink keys,
but maybe this is supposed to be novelty, like the CD closer, "Jenny
Jones (leave the deathrock kids alone)"? Maybe I'm losing my
sense of humor? "Cowboys Always Win" and "Outsider"
conjure up weird, John Wesley Harding comparisons to the vocals,
which I find disturbing. The CD corker is "Cleveland, Ohio,"
because the band sounds like they care. I'm sure this stuff translates
better live (How could it not?). See them when they're in
your town, and buy a copy of This Year's Model instead.