The American People

Because We Can (Pez)

Record Reviews

The American People

Because We Can (Pez)

No energy crisis here! Because We Can squeezes 17 songs into 50 minutes of mod-leaning garage groove, with a lyrical slant that comes across like the Weathermen disguised as the Banana Splits. Frontman Mike McCoy (Cher UK) supplies bon mots that target cell-phone-era bugaboos ("American Businessman," "Ozone Day") and cynically zooms in on the local routines of being a broke-ass musician and all-around "1900s Man"; "Mexico Song" is an especially needed swipe at overly sincere, stubble-chinned singer-songwriters. Even better, no missile shield can deflect McCoy's musical mates from hitting their marks. "I Shot You Down" and "Old Salt" are both braised in the warm California sun of Pet Sounds, and Jacob Schulze (Dismukes) lays so much trippy Farfisa into the broke-ass blues of "I'm Poor" and "Summer Lube," it totally redefines the term joint chiefs. Guitarist Robbie Araiza (Doenuts), bassist Hunter Darby (Dung Beatles), and drummer Susie Martinez (Hormones) step it up for rockers like the Icicle Works cover "Whisper to a Scream," consumer-baiting "Japanese Speakers," and Ramones-to-the-core "Teenagers 'R' Assholes," which suggests the proper remedy for today's pervasive pop-star mentality is to "take it out on the babysitter." "PSA USA," with its looped admonition "whatever you do, don't put that in your ass" and sluggishly twisted musical bed, even hints at the oft-disturbing studio tomfoolery of past Trance Syndicate offerings. Overall, Because We Can is irresistible American pop that labels President Bush a "punk-ass bitch." Something tells me the Europeans would eat this shit up.

****

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
Lonestar
Lonestar (Record Review)

Libby Webster, March 22, 2019

Texas Platters
Instant Leftovers Vol. 3
Instant Leftovers Vol. 3 (Record Review)

Libby Webster, March 22, 2019

More by Christopher Gray
Margaret Moser Tribute: Alvin Crow
Alvin Crow
Summer camp with the kids

June 30, 2017

Margaret Moser Tribute: The Rolling Stones
The Rolling Stones
That Margaret Moser, she’s a rainbow

June 30, 2017

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle