Reviewed by Audra Schroeder, Fri., Sept. 16, 2005
Little D (Business Deal)
Fishboy's Web site describes them best: Theirs is a feeling akin to when a rainbow passes out puppies to everyone, and that feeling is bottled and then given to smart apes to drink for 25 days. Fishboy is Eric Michener, a young Denton fellow who, along with bandmates Slapbracelet, Sweatpants, and High-C, has created a sonic tribute to their hometown. Released on Austin's Business Deal Records, Little D is full of simple, cute melodies and songs about bananas, parties, pizza rolls, dogs, and other assorted feel-good topics. Guitar, piano, Theremin, French horn, cello, and mellotron combine on songs like the ebullient "That's a Jellyfish" and the grandiose "Start Again." "A Surprise Return" tells the tale of a Christmas tree that returns to the house it was thrown out of last holiday season, begging to crash on the couch, and on "Water Works," Michener laments, "Yesterday I went outside and all my grass had died," over a wonderfully spastic beat. You can smell the influence of bands like They Might Be Giants here, and Michener's voice is a hopeful monotone throughout Little D. The best part is that he has the pinwheel-eyed earnestness down, but you can never tell when he's got the handshake buzzer on.