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P.I.C.
Sexy Picnic
Riding Mower Records
www.picscape.com


P.I.C. likes to describe their sound as "hiphopunkfunkmamboska" which is a jumbled up description of their musical influences. Pretty clever, but what else would you expect from a group that was formed from a group of NYU art students. P.I.C. originally started life as p.i., short for Pilipino Insurrecto, the imaginary rap group that a NYU film school mocumentary was based on. As part of shooting for the film the p.i. crew would play live shows around New York, and they quickly found that p.i. had a following of fans. p.i. changed their name to P.I.C and have been playing and touring ever since. If you think that the name P.I.C seems pretty familiar you may also be a Comedy Central fan. P.I.C was the house band for Comedy Central's 2002 stand-up comic variety show Premium Blend. With two albums, national T.V. exposure, and a claimed worldwide audience, P.I.C seems to have come a long way from being a joke rap group, or so you might think.

P.I.C.'s latest album is Sexy Picnic. I have had this album in my player for a while now (it has been out for a year), and I am still finding it difficult to write a review. I have decided that this is not a fault of the reviewer, but it is the carefully crafted plot of the band. The band started off as a joke, and I really do not think that they have plans of changing course. For example just look at the band's own description of track five, "Ghoti"-"Vocals muse about George Bernard Shaw's alternative phonetics in true tongue twisting style, driven by a New Orleans dance hall beat and Latin counter rhythms. The band's bipolar nature jumps from big Tito Puente style mambo arrangements, to a suddenly scaled down acoustic guitar and Louis Armstrong-style muted trumpet duet, easily covering 50 years of popular music in the span of one song." My translation - "Intelligent, comedic, unpredictable NYC art students, gone awry on stage with musical instruments in an auditory explosion of intermingled, genre busting jocularity". That pretty much describes the whole attitude of the P.I.C crew and the album
.
Personally, this is not an album that I listen to very often, or have run out and had to show all of my friends. It is an album that I would put on in the background of a party. The songs, on a whole, were mildly interesting, the music will get your head bobbing, and I guess they were 'fun'. The lyrics at times, however, left me scratching my head wondering if it was I that was dumb, or if it was just the song that was dumb. If you are into music that is more about fun than it is about content, you like your comedy and your music in one easy to swallow pill, or you are really into this genre blending craze then this would be a great album for you to find. If, however, you are more the type the likes to keep your peas and mashed potatoes separate, find that "fun loving" bands make you see red, or are the type that thinks KRS-One when you hear the word hip-hop, then this is not going to be your cup of tea. As you may guess I am probably more the latter, so take that with a grain of salt when you consider this album. All this said I would probably still go see this band live, in a bar, and, if what I have read about their live shows was even half true, then I would recommend that you do, too.

-JD Sipes

Track Listing

1. Circus
2. Sugar Plan
3. Talk
4. Sexy Picnic
5. Ghoti
6. Timonium
7. Kimba Lang
8. Laboratory
9. Nevermore Stories
10. D.A.R.Y.L. (Love Error)


 

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Mike Doughty



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