A Review of LUMPS’ “Curses!”


LUMPS’ Curses! LP starts off with 3, count ’em, 3 catchy, relatively straightforward power pop punk tracks in “No Sweat”, “Spirit Sweat”, and “Sleep Tight”.  Up until track 4, the vibe I was getting from this was that I was in store for a really great set of pop punk tunes that featured some interesting guitar to distinguish it from its peers, but starting with “Nojo”, the album gets weird and becomes something even better.

After 3 loud, tight, full sounding tracks, “Nojo” comes in with some sparse jazzy drums and bass, then about 20 seconds in, Aaron Hester (who wrote all the songs, sings, plays guitar, recorded, mixed, and mastered the album, AND did the cover art) comes in with some abrasive fuckin’ noise guitar.  Oh, okay.  This guy’s a spaz.

On “HENRY” (yeah, this one specifically is titled in ALL CAPS), Hester gets back to kinda normal pop punk, but he’s singing shit like “you make me feel so good, and you smell so good too” and “let’s act retarded” to the titular subject.  So yep, still fuckin’ weird.

“Come Back to Me”‘s on some doo wop new wave shit, it’s brilliant.  “Happimess” is another kinda normal one peppered Hester’s hooky “OWAHoooooo”‘s, then it gets all ragey in the last few seconds and ends with a sample of a woman asking us to pray for her husband because he has knee problems.

“Cuddle Party” is a catchy little chill tune characterized by its skittering guitar, and lyrics about cuddling.

The opening riff to closer “Dolores” is reminiscent, but not a copycat of, Oingo Boingo’s “Nasty Habits”, except “Dolores” shortly morphs into a song that’s creepier, has a better sense of both melody and rhythmic shifts, and features drumming that doesn’t suck ass (the drumming on the Only a Lad album for another time…).

I love this.  It distills all of the zany elements from artists like Foetus, Faith No More, and Oingo Boingo, into these tight little Buzzcocks type power pop gems that go off on little adventures but always find their way back home.  Aaron Hester might be a genius, and it looks like I have some back catalog listening to do.

I highly, highly recommend this.

(Click here to see rating)





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