Fergus & Geronimo – [Album]

Thursday, 02 August 2012

Before we really get into this review of Fergus & Geronimo's sophomore album, it's worth pointing out that some of the criticism contained herein has seldom (if ever) had any place in a record review before. It wouldn't appear here either, under normal circumstances, but it needs saying here and now so here goes: goddamn the members of Fergus & Geronimo are a homely bunch. I make that declaration knowing full well that I am a member of the music press – a profession which seldom if ever yields a bumper crop of pretty people – but the unattractive stature of guitarists Andrew Savage and Bob Jones, sax player Jef Brown and drummer Jason Kelly is just so striking that it seems pertinent somehow; no matter how crass it might seem, given that we're supposed to be talking about sounds here, not looks.

After one sees the photographs of the and members (they're located on the back cover of the album) and starts to listen to “Funky Was The State Of Affairs,” every listener will find themselves grasping desperately to make sense of what they're hearing and will begin to draw bizarre connections within the music. After “Planet Earth Is Pregnant For The Fifth Time,” “No Parties” and “The Strange One Speaketh” wrestle their way through to open the record, for example, listeners will swear they're able to see Fergus & Geronimo as the next step in an evolutionary line which began with The Mothers Of Invention. That first discovery will astound everyone including those who make it, but the connections get even more tangible as the slightly acerbic tone of songs like “My Phone's Been Tapped Baby,” “Off The Map” and “Earthling Women” as well as the taste of LSD on each intimate that this record could sit easily alongside pre-Hear It Is Flaming Lips, while the little skits scattered throughout this run-time are unquestionably descended from the pop cultural mire which was once Negativland. While those who are unfamiliar with those groups or the sounds they made will scoff and give up on “Funky Was The State Of Affairs” in disgust, those who are familiar with those periods in each group's growth and do sort of miss their willful weirdness will find themselves sort of treasuring this mess that Fergus & Geronimo have made. There once was a time when The Mothers would remind listeners that Jimmie Carl Black was the indian of the group, Negativland proved that Casey Kasem could be a foulmouthed motherfucker and not burst into flames and The Flaming Lips would burst into “Summertime Blues” without warning (or much rehearsal of the song); music lovers who miss moments like that will find they love this weird little mutant of a record which was made by a bunch of weird looking guys for the exact same reason they loved those other moments.


Fergus & Geronimo –
“Roman Tick” – [mp3]
Fergus & Geronimo –
“No Parties” – [mp3]


“Funky Was The State Of Affairs”
comes out on August 7, 2012 via Hardly Art/Sub Pop. Pre-order it here on Amazon .

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