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Shmat's Reviews
For more reviews, please visit Palebear which is where all future Shmat reviews will appear (as of March 2006).

Indie Rock Messiah
Untitled (Cassette Tape)

There's a lot to be said in a name. Shmat thinks that anyone who names themselves "Indie Rock Messiah" is either hyper-confident in their stuff or just asking for a shmatload of pain when music critics decide to run them through the wringer for not living up to the title. Kinda dangerous stuff for anyone who's looking beyond just poking fun at themselves musically.

The music, like the photocopied tape insert, is a little shabby and jumbled. It's just one guy, Aaron Trammell, often trading lines of strange lyrics with himself. But of course, if you're the messiah you can probably get away with talking to yourself. The vocals aren't horrible, but they are horribly out of tune in that Silver Jews sort of way. But Shmat has heard much much worse.

"Sing To The Moon" is caustic and rocking like a warped Lou Reed tune. The arrangement is actually not bad on this song and the Shmat thinks that with a few more Peoples in this band to back him, Trammell might be able to pull these types of songs off in a live punk show. "Dancin With Myself" sounds a little too much like the Billy Idol song "Dancing With Myself", or is this supposed to be a cover of that song? "Possession" is a very interesing pastiche of guitar noise and keyboard bells. The wacky instrumentation is what keeps the tape from entering the Shmat's dreaded "circular file" before the end of the first side. Interesting items from the second side of the tape include "Happenin", "Pandhandlin" (so, does he have something against the letter "g"?) and "Buy Your Life". The beginning of "Change" sounds just like a Daniel Johnston tune but turns into an all out screamer. Shmat needs to emphasize this is really crazy stuff so if you are adversely affected by yelling (think Paleface, Wilmot Proviso), wiggly keyboards, and rude guitar blurps you may want to wait it out until the Third Coming of the indie rock messiah.

- review by SHMAT (9.27.03)        

Aaron Trammell

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