Can You Hear Me Now?
The Schwagcast Features 100 Year Picnic Interview

Hey kids, check out the latest Frankenpony release, Hideous Creatures, which by the way is album NUMBER FOUR for the boys. 

That's a lot of punky power pop songs crammed into a few years.  Not too shabby for regular guys with day jobs and mortgages, not to mention a 130 mile commute to Chicago for one of the band members, Mr. Rick Bennett, who lives right here in Bloomington, Illinois.  (Yes, I'm talking about THE Rick Bennett from Electric Tuba fame...)

Besides being packed with 16 catchy tunes, Hideous Creatures happens to feature a couple of my now all-time favorite Frankenpony tunes: one called Come Down and another called Immersing

Come Down somehow gets away with being both deadly serious and seriously deadpan at the same time.  It's "come down from your ledge" followed by "think of all the things you'd leave behind...like cookies and pizza..."  Oh yeah, and the stinger: "just one more thing, at the top of the list, you just think of us, cause we would miss you."  So take heed from a rock and roll parent, and come on down.

Anyway, this is a fun yet sincere track with the best chorus hook of the record, a groovy laid-back reggae feel, excellent orchestration, and a perfectly tasty guitar solo played by John Griffin. 

The song Immersing is a classic Frankenpony brew of garage rock meets prog rock meets 80s pop song.  It's a fun, energetic arrangement with catchy hooks all over the place.  Fun bass lines and tasty drums, and again a wicked guitar solo.  At the moment, you can sample and download this awesome track out on the band's myspace page

Other standout tracks for me include Rotting, Hood, Looking, and Trash.  Overall, the record proves to be an adventurous modern take on underground 80s pop. With reference points from 80s era XTC to The Tubes to Joe Jackson to The Producers, it's definitely reminiscent of some of those sounds, but heavier and quirkier. 

Lyrically, this is probably the zaniest and silliest of Frankenpony records (with songs like Ketchup Vs. Catsup and The Importance Of Eating Breakfast).  Musically, it's the band's tightest with excellent vocals throughout, and arguably Johnny Flamini's best drumming.  Hideous Creatures is yet another milestone for the band, adding to an already prolific body of work. 

If you are in Chicagoland, you get to see the boys in person at 9:00 P.M. at Gunther Murphy's on November 3, 2006.  The rest of the world can sample tracks on cdbaby or itunes.  If you like, buy your favorite tracks and help Rick pay for his gas to Chicago rehearsals...

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