Two and a half years is a long time to wait for new music. But with
the "music" economy the way it is now-a-days, it's actually
about par with the time needed to do pretty much everything DIY. And
if you switch labels and band members, then the two years becomes
more impressive than anything. This was the story for East Coasters
Their first self-titled release was done the major label way. Island
helped make Innerpartysystem a success and the album resulted in band
on tour fairly consistently throughout most of '08 and early '09.
But between the summer of '09 and winter of '10 there came some changes.
The band left Island for greener pastures and Jesse Cronan
decided to take his synth styles and move on. As the changes kept
flowing through the gossip channels, the other three members didn't
waver. Instead they met all the chatter with an epic single release.
"American Trash" was first teased in early 2010 and then
officially released that summer. And for fans of IPS patiently waiting
for new music, this was our answer. Never before had I been SO excited
for a single song. With a slight bass beat and the splash of a synth
or two, the song takes sex and attitude out for a stroll within the
first 30 seconds. But the epic part of this song comes when it explodes
into the chorus with a fury of speaker-blowing bass thuds and gnarly
synthesizers. Seriously; it explodes! And if that wasn't enough, the
lyrics top it all off. "I've got this planet in my hands / I'll
try to save it if I can / I get my facts from the T.V. / believe everything
I read / it's such an ignorant bliss, when the whole world wants to
be like me". You'd think at first the song was making fun of
Americans. They're not; they're actually trying to build individuality.
One dance beat at a time.
The song finally falls on an EP this February, only a year after
the first tease. Honestly, all bands should do it like that. Tease
- single - break out EP. Just saying.
Never Be Content contains five other hits, and the term "hits"
isn't used loosely. Like the song "Money". Sure it's a bit
more dance-rock than their first album, but turn up the volume to,
oh, level 10, and you'll quickly realize this is still IPS, they've
just rocked your ears in a different direction. The tempo's at a break-dance
speed. And even though most of the song is electronic, once you get
to thae chorus the beat splits itself out to a one-dimensional hook
and those catchy "sexified" lyrics come back out.
Behind "American Trash", a second favorite of mine would
be "Not Getting Any Better". And the surprising thing about
this song is, when I first saw it performed live, I didn't like it.
That was until about half way through. Let's work through it: the
first minute or so is spent disco-teching and head-bopping. Feels
like there's a solid two-step beat pulsing through the song. About
1:50 everything softens up and Patrick's vocals turn silky
and emotional. We go back through a dance break and when it eventually
goes soft again, now this is purely to get you ready for one of the
most dramatic transitions ever. A few stringed instruments join in
while the computer-driven lyrics "It's not getting any better"
are hauntingly repeated. Put it all together and you've got a mid-song
transition of motion picture standards. When this part of the song
was performed live, it did something interesting to the audience;
the build up in the song seemed to cause the entire venue to build
up in anticipation and when the song erupted to its climax, everyone
jumped to their feet, arms flailing in the air. But this wasn't the
end. Nope, now that the band had your attention, they proceeded to
move your body for an additional 3 minutes. For a grand total of 8
minutes and 30 seconds, this is the longest song on the album. But
it is the most enjoyable on a live stage.
For those not feeling like completely losing control, a few mellow
numbers were put on the EP. "Out Of Touch" and "Squid"
are a bit on the slow grind level. No worries though, they're slow
songs still done by Innerpartysystem, so you'll still move (somehow).
The rumor has it that IPS will be putting out a follow up to this
EP, but more in a full length format. Never Be Perfect is currently
slated for this summer (or so they say). So the excitement will continue
for a few more months.
The final equation: tease - epic single - Epic EP - EPIC Album.
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