Friday, December 18, 2009

Review: The Inactivists



Love Songs & Other Songs About Love

Have you ever wondered what would happen if They Might Be Giants started a high-energy funkish bar-rock outfit? They might just release an album entitled Love Songs & Other Songs About Love and call themselves The Inactivists. Just like the Giants, this Denver five-piece sings jocular songs about randomness. Unlike the Giants, The Inactivists embellish their words with a danceable, lively soundtrack that features an assortment of instruments—everything from accordion and theremin to ukulele and saxophone. Tracks like the folk/country “Song for Gary Glitter,” the disturbingly funky “Why (Aren’t You (In Love (With Me)))?” and the hilariously entitled reggae send-up “Lock Jah” demonstrate the band’s proclivity to write musically precise scores with absurdly witty lyrics. But make no mistake, even in the groups wackiest moments, it takes its unseriousness* very seriously. Like most of its contemporaries in the weirdo-core scene, The Inactivists are much more fun live. Regardless, Love Songs manages to be both manic and tranquil, catchy and atonal, and full of love and hate. It’s a folk-funk-rock journey into the psyche of five musically-endowed, neurotic nerds.

Other Highlights: the lovely jingle “The Last Song,” the even lovelier bonus track “Bonus Track,” and the insanely catchy honky-tonk ditty “Take Me Back”

*Might not be a word