By Bill Molina
By Bill Molina
The Presidents of the United States of America prove that mid ’90s alternative rock ‘n’ roll lives on with its latest release “These Are Good Times People.”
After a four year absence the Seattle band returns to the music scene sounding as great as they have for the last ten years.
Some may know the band for its hit singles, “Lump” and “Peaches” back in 1995, but like a fine wine, time has made this band sound all the better.
Released March 11, “These Are the Good Times People” is its sixth album with 14 tracks of goofy alt-rock that keeps your toes tapping whenever you listen to it.
Omitting any soft or somber style songs, the band sticks to what it does best, light-hearted, catchy, and clever music.
In such trying times, this album is a great pick-me-up for anyone stuck in a funk or in need of cheering up.
You’ll be sad that it clocks in at 39 minutes, because I guarantee it will be over much faster than you expect.
The track “Ladybug” is immensely infectious and with a hint of They Might Be Giants makes for one of the funniest songs on the album.
“Truckstop Butterfly” showcases how the band can maintain its form while switching styles still reminiscent of its previous work.
“French Girl” is a fantastic example of how they can sing about something dark while sounding cheerful and upbeat.
With a catchy pop-rock riff, lead vocalist Chris Ballew sings, “French girl has a problem with the world/ She sees it as a black place/ A place that wants to strangle her good time/ Don’t ever get involved with a French girl.”
“Flame is Love” is another fresh change of pace as the band brings the swing as the added trumpet section blends in seamlessly.
Another track “So lo so hi” absolutely drips with Weezer influence and the band couldn’t possibly have nailed the sound any better.
“Warhead” is a playful song about what could be considered a radioactive nuclear relationship.
The final track “Deleter” captures funk rock masterfully.
The band is joined by Seattle-ite and Nu Jazz vocalist Fysah Thomas to form a unique blend of jazz, funk, soul, and rock.
The standout track has to be “Loose Balloon,” which brings up memories of every balloon that you ever lost.
Sounding like The Shins, this track is a must download for any indie fan.
Lyrics like, “Loose balloon/ How high can you fly/ You’re a loose balloon/ Before you pop and you die/ Loose balloon/ You made that little kid cry/ When you took off for the sun/ And just this morning you were flat and deflated/ No one knew if you were loved or hated” make this one unforgettable song.
Although tracks like “Poor Turtle,” “More Bad Times,” and “Riot in the Sun” aren’t that great, it is probably because the rest of the album is so good so these pale in comparison.
The Presidents of the United States deliver an album full of upbeat rock that will keep you coming back for more after your done.
“These Are the Good Times People” will remind you of good times you have had, and may even make you recall a degree of heartache with a smile on your face.
Not an album to be missed, the Chiefs of State maintain a toe tapping rhythm and relaxed tone to ensure that your headphones stay on.
This is a much welcome departure of the angry, anti-war, politically fueled music that some may say is saturating the music market today. This album will make sure you never see a balloon floating away the same way.