Wednesday, March 04, 2009


From today's Clevescene:

The Bran Flakes
I Have Hands
(Illegal Art)

Beyond popularizing copyright-infringing experimentation and preaching its own weird gospel, the Bran Flakes don't appear to have any agenda to push. Political discourse? Nope. Mashups by hipsters for hipsters? Nah. This sample-happy American-Canadian concern seems content to stitch its steals into whippet-hit pop. I Have Hands serves up more of the glazed-eye same. Stentorian overtones of long-gone announcers usher us along on a sonic highway of musty musical-theater numbers, mawkish film dialogue, barking dogs, sonorous Julie Andrews wannabes, jazz flute solos and kids' cassette cheese. What's notable - and laudable - about Hands is how a crisp, mirthful pace is established and maintained, and how its seams don't show: Most of the time, IDing definite sources for this drum beat, that organ riff or those piano chords is pretty much impossible - so well-integrated, back-masked or scrambled are the various elements. There are exceptions: Those grunts and ad libs erupting on "Van Pop" have got to be James Brown exclamations; "Marchy March" seems to be built on rhythms from Chic's "Le Freak"; "Stumble Out of Bed" plainly and proudly borrows from Dolly Parton's hit "9 to 5" and, to a lesser extent, the Osmonds' "Think." The overall feel is one of whimsical pep and high circumstance - Flakes principals Mildred Pitt and Otis Fodder partying down in the sound lab and goading each other into just one more goofy, smiley-face-pin curio. It pays off.

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