Radio 1190 Presents!
Safe Boating Is No Accident
The Kissing Party, Greenery Book Club
3131 Walnut St.
Denver, CO, 80205
This event is 21 and over
Safe Boating Is No Accident
Safe Boating Is No Accident crawled out from the morass of disappointments, disillusionments and muted desperation that can really only be found in the Midwest. But at least Leighton Peterson and Neil McCormick found the comic possibilities inherent in those experiences and a vehicle with which to create the musical equivalent of David Foster Wallace's great novel Infinite Jest. Rather than write some heavy-handed purely topical lyrics, these guys are postmodern tricksters who blur the line between humor, biting social satire and solid pop songcraft.
Initially part folk and avant-garde performance art, Safe Boating put on the kinds of performances people talk about for a long time afterward--from disturbingly dramatic faux break-ups on stage, to a reenactment of 2001: A Space Odyssey and a show that can best be described as a staged hostage-taking of the band where it was forced to perform in an alley and the audience saw McCormick's death and resurrection.
For its next chapter, Safe Boating is temporarily setting aside its overtly miscreant ways in favor of sculpting cathartic pop songs akin to what you heard out of the early Elvis Costello and The Jam. Still firmly in place is the sharp wit and playfully caustic conceptual humor that has been the group's hallmark from the beginning. The inspired hijinks will return without warning but Safe Boating has never been about gimmicks so much as involving those who show up in the moment if they dare.
The Kissing Party
To a well-established band, predictability can be friend or foe. In the case of The Kissing Party, it's both. The Denver shoegaze-pop group's third release, The Hate Album, finds it treading some new ground while simultaneously sticking to old tricks, and through it all, rocking some first-class negativity. Let's just say the album is appropriately titled.
The Kissing Party sound nothing like Belle And Sebastian, a baffling comparison made frequently of the quintet. The band's sound never has mirrored the famous Glasgow group, and especially doesn't here. The closest the act gets to B&S likeness is that the vocals are shared by a boy and a girl—but Stuart Murdoch and Isobel Campbell they ain't. If anything, Kissing Party's wall-of-sound-via-clean-electric-guitars aesthetic has much more in common with neo-shoegaze acts like Asobi Seksu and The Radio Dept., and at certain college-radio-friendly moments, like Tullycraft.
While the band hasn't made much headway into new sonic territory in its last few years, Kissing Party has nearly perfected what it was already doing best: making straight-ahead, two-minute pop songs. Deirdre Sage's voice and delivery are both stronger than ever, and the album's production values have made leaps and bounds since the last recording. "You Made Me Happy"—a slow, pensive track—sounds like the first real step in a mature direction, as tape recordings and weird noises in the background add a newfound gritty layer to the Party's overall sound.
What really pop from The Hate Album are the self-aware, generally pessimistic lyrics dotting the record. Guitarist-vocalist Gregg Dolan has apparently reached his most acerbic stage yet as a songwriter, with lines like "I was fuckin' dyin' / chokin'" and "I don't need anybody," delivered with such detached cool that we actually have no choice but to believe him. And, while this is much of what we've already heard from the band, we can't help but wonder: Do The Kissing Party members kiss their mothers with those mouths?
From THE ONION'S AV CLUB, By Patrick Kelly
Greenery Book Club
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