Friday, May 19, 2006

CD/Music Video Review: Morning 40 Federation - Ticonderoga and Intro

No, no, no, no, no. To quote the "Barton administration": "this is wrong on so many levels."

To begin with, I watched Intro, the video first, and it was admittedly kinda cool and funky with a New Orleans feel. Make no mistake; these guys are good musicians to be sure. It all ends right there. I smiled and grooved to the video just a bit, so I went ahead and put in the CD Ticonderoga and wow! What a mistake that turned out to be.

I listened to the music and singer on the video, then the CD, and I am convinced that Alf must have invaded this guy's voice and gone into falsetto. What a load of crap. Adam Sandler himself, doing his best Tiny Tim, could not have begun to purposely emulate such sounds.

I am referring to Corkscrew and Washing Machine in particular; you really have to take this thing track by track. Aside from the fact that pretty much every song relies on alcohol abuse, hence the Morning 40 reference (A "40" is a good dose of malt liquor for those of a more gentile upbringing), there are some hints of good stuff here. Unfortunately these guys can't seem to decide what genre they embrace -- Blues, Rock, Indie, Punk, Tiny Tim, you decide. I gave up.

Toodle is actually a good example of New Orleans style blues, has a catchy tune and a good beat, so what the hell is it doing on this album, I ask? Oh well que sera, sera I suppose. Lancaster is another enigma with an early John Lennon-style sound.

On another note, I'm not at all impressed with their claims of being a "Ninth Ward" band. To quote a fellow writer, Todd A. Price:
That's kind of sleazy marketing. That 9th Ward that everyone has seen so much on TV is actually the Lower 9th Ward, which is where the levee break destroyed everything. It was an almost exclusively African-American neighborhood. This band hails from the Upper 9th Ward, which is on the other side of the levee. Not that there wasn't damage in that area as well, but it wasn't like a nuclear bomb went off. I guess the PR industry looks for any hook it can, but I'm pretty sure that few residents of the Lower 9th Ward have heard of the band.

This CD ends fittingly with a song called Conversation Whore which seems to describe life in the slow lane. While listening to the actual gut-wrenching recorded sounds of someone vomiting, I decided that I really must come off the fence and vote no on this one, surprise.

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