Okay, The Sterns. They have the way best bonus song in Rock Band 2:
"Supreme Girl", which I liked a little less once I realized it consisted
entirely of whining about how the singer's crush-object had the temerity
not to be perfect*. They conveniently combine short attention spans with an
abiding love of several bands who I personally like best in small doses,
so "oh God I want to be Elvis Costello" moments are right next to "oh God
I want to be Belle & Sebastian" moments, etc. The results are in fact
delicious; it's just hard to get too passionate about a chef who can only
Also in the bowl: Squeeze, Joe Jackson (or is it J. Geils Band?), a little
Dresden Dolls, and, at least for one of the vocalists**, a lot of
The Morrissey thing: It's unnerving to hear this much Moz in the voice of
someone who's securely and pointedly straight, but wants us so badly to
know about his enlightened views. "Buffer Zone" is about vulturous
abortion protesters; "Virginia Radio" goes "Everything I say is
misconstrued / You'd think I hate every ethnic group and gay"; and I don't
even know what to make of the lyric "I hate to break it to you, honey, I'm
pro-choice", which is addressed to a sexy nun in the title track, but
there it is. The Sterns aim for "mopey", "sulky", maybe even "tormented"
(courtesy of all the Catholic imagery), but the darkest mood they pull off
is "in a snit".
So despite the killer tunes, I'm not sure what I think.
The Sterns on MySpace
[*] Supposedly it's about Harriet Miers, which makes it differently
[**] I thought it was all one guy, but somewhere in their press kit they
boast about having three frontmen. I'm guessing about who sings what; the
liner notes don't help.