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CD Review – Brassy “Gettin’ Wise”

Gettin’ Wise
Wiiija Records

You’re better off listening to a dyslexic, lisping Porky Pig recitation of a particularly sibilant-filled passage of Shakespeare than Brassy’s new album, Gettin’ Wise.

The same people who still think Brassy has a novel chemistry probably think it’s still cool to have tattoos of Asian lettering. Or maybe they still grace us with glow sticks and their “blowing up” routine.

In reality, Brassy is an ultra-generic cacophony of gratuitous sampling and boring abruptness. Their style is no more than the sum of its sophomoric pseudo-eclecticisms, which is so 1997.

To Brassy’s possible credit, maybe they don’t care about creativity or originality. They are blatantly influenced by Daft Punk throughout Gettin’ Wise, especially on “Mine,” which is a note or two short of Daft Punk’s hit melody “Around the World.” “Nobody Cheers Me” has the obligatory semblance of something artsy, but doesn’t mean anything to the rest of the album. Finally, on the ninth track, we have something amazingly all right called “Swett’s Muse,” but it’s too short lived at 80 seconds.

Perhaps one of the worst aspects of Brassy’s effort was vocalist Muffin Spencer’s stretch at a kind of song-and-dance sassiness from the 1920s. Spencer’s sound is reminiscent of Squiggy from the 1976 TV show Laverne and Shirley. Her singing sounds like she’s been breathing helium.

Still not sure about the Porky Pig thing? Of course you remember — he stutters too.

Gettin’ Wise is vulgarly contemporary, and they brag that one of their UK “hits” was the soundtrack for heavily-rotated Motorola commercials. In fact, many good artists — such as Stereolab, Blur, Iggy Pop, Air and Ladytron — often allow their songs to be used in commercials since they are not regularly played on FM radio. But know, most commercials are annoying, and now you know where they find most of their stale music.

Nowadays, if you don’t embrace punk rock, at least on a fractional level, then you’re almost politically incorrect. From 311 to Blink 182 to Avril Lavigne, there is no point; punk is as dead as Joey Ramone and Sid Vicious.

And just like hair bands of the ’80s — a decade all about the lifestyle of easy money and easy young women — rap has also grown complacent in its self-absorption and predictability.

Someone needs to tell the music industry that not all good things must combine. You don’t see fried chicken ice cream because fried chicken and ice cream are, by their own merit, delicious.