Baby Scream, Fan Fan Fan: The prolific Juan Pablo Mazzola welcomed the new year by dropping 39 new tracks over three LPs — a proper long-player of 12 new tracks, and a gonzo 27 track collection of assorted odds and ends, medleys, radio theme songs and covers.
The proper long-player, Fan Fan Fan, finds Mazzola in great form — disgusted, bemused, sarcastic, wrenched in self-doubt, spitting out the occasional profanity, and seemingly not caring a bit whether you like him or not. Never mind, of course, since you’ll be singing along quite happily as Mazzola peppers his cynicism with pretty melodies and non-stop head-boppin’ hooks.
All of this is immediately apparent. The lead track is a pounding piece of rockin’ pop called “Everybody Sucks.” It says its peace in a whopping minute-thirty-four after kissing off the world and closing with the words “my life’s a joke.” This is followed, most naturally, by “Back To Douche,” a slow, skull-pounding bit of regret about life’s wrong roads taken, living the shallow life and ultimately embracing mediocrity with gusto. The “Loner” is exactly as advertised (he’s also a “loser, for good measure) and Mazzola uses the platform to rock real hard. We learn later that “Politicians r Bullies,” perhaps, in part, because they “have never been kissed” and because “nobody is trying to be their friend.”
In less deft hands, this approach would wear thin rather quickly. But Mazzola knows his way around an instrument or five, spikes the negativity repeatedly with wit, and genre hops with considerable ease. “Haters Will Hate” thus processes that well-worn phrase through a swaying neo-psychedelic gauze and nice piano melody:
A bit later, the acoustic “I Don’t Wanna Wake Up From This Dream” mines similar sonic territory and attests to the power of well-executed simplicity:
Fan, Fan, Fan is the probably the most fun you will have getting pissed off all year. You can get it right here. You can get 27 track compilation, lovingly titled The Worst Of, right here. While you’re at it, check out a prior compilation, quite charmingly called Greatest Failures.
The Crush, Someone For You: This Seattle-based three-piece captured the second spot on my list of the Best EPs of 2014. So word of their latest EP, Someone For You, was greeted with high hopes, and it doesn’t disappoint. delivers five hook-filled tracks of rockin’ pop in a similar vein as 2014’s Future Blimps. This is pretty basic stuff, with chiming, scratching, occasionally jangling guitars, pounding percussion and Kira Wilson’s confident, knowing, almost mischievous, vocals.
The title track kicks off the festivities with a riff that burrows its way relentlessly into consciousness until it gives way to a chorus that does the same. “Don’t Mind The Sunshine” jangles with the best of them, and morphs from time-to-time into stomping garage rock:
“Stomping” best describes the next two tracks — “Question” and “Your Regret” — both of which will have you boppin’ along happily from beginning to end. The closing track, “Disco Puke,” channels late-70s punk rock so effectively that you could have sworn you heard it blasting over a rickety PA back in the day.
Someone For You is guaranteed a spot on my 2015 “best of” list. Its that good. Get it, now, right here.