Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Service Industry - Calm Down (Sauspop 2010)

For their fourth release, Austin's The Service Industry leave behind the simmering rage of the overlooked and underappreciated and move in a more personal direction. The band's success in achieving this so gracefully should dispel any misperceptions that this is a gimmick band. The Service Industry deliver 12 nearly flawless pop cuts that range from the jangly to garagey, low key to the energetic.

Opener "Heart Repair" is a chunky piece of melancholia that expands into a soaring melodic chorus and kicks the feel of the record off in the right direction. Remaining true to the record's vibe but exemplifying its range of styles and influences, Julie Lowery takes lead vocal from Mike McCoy on the Reivers meets The B-52s college rock of "Honey and Hair Sprayed Hair". There's so much going on here stylistically that it took real artistry to avoid disjointedness and have everything fall together so well.

Complaints? Minor to insignificant. For example, "This Town Makes My Skin Crawl" draws out a little bit too long. But it's still a damn good song.

As prolific as these folks are (what is this? The fourth release in two years?) it won't be too long before we see which way The Service Industry jumps next. So far it continues to be up.

3.75 out of 4 heart repairs

Malcolm McLaren RIP

Situationist. Manager of The New York Dolls. Manager of The Sex Pistols. Manager of Bow Wow Wow (no, really). Father of Punk Fashion (that really should go to wife Vivienne Westwood, but McLaren never declined taking credit). Solo recording artist. Depending on who you're talking to - one of the greatest marketing geniuses of the late 20th century or one of the biggest shysters. Or both. Whatever, the motherfucker sure left a mighty gash in the side of pop culture using pop culture as the knife. Wasn't that what The Situationists were all about?