“Roll around in mud and watch cartoons/puddle hop splash and chase balloons/anything to brighten up your day,” Stuyvesant proclaims on “Neeto,” the seventh track off of their newest album, Fret Sounds. That’s exactly what the band’s goal seems to be throughout most of the album.
Lyrics are linked together to follow the instrumentals through their half-hour rampage. They’re easy to remember and easy to sing along to, great for a quick blast when you’re going over the speed limit past a cop’s radar gun or a crazy party during the last half-hour of an American Pie sequel. The instrumentals really do seem to be on a tear, with drums and electric guitars that inspire the same kind of feeling as head-butting a friend at a football game—fun but not at all sophisticated, and rarely giving any thought to consequence.
With the exceptions of “Bish Dub,” which breaks the album in half with something resembling a tripped-out version of the soundtrack to Ocean’s Eleven, and the final track “Cimarron, NM,” which might be recited at a local farmer’s market. All of the songs sound nearly identical and link up to each other while rarely taking a breath, inspiring some head-scratching as to whether my disc reader may have skipped up a number during what seemed to have been the same song. While they’re not necessarily bland, there isn’t a whole lot of depth of flavor.
But if you’re sick of listening to dreary, self-reflecting tunes accenting the dreary, self-reflecting dampness outside, Stuyvesant offers 30 minutes of distraction until you wait for the sun to break through the clouds so you can get back to chasing those balloons.
In A Word: Party