Imperial Teen

Seasick (Slash ‘96) Rating: B+
Faith No More keyboard ace Roddy Bottum dons a guitar and sings here, along with former The Dicks/Sister Double Happiness drummer Lynn Perko and two relative unknowns (Jone Stebbings and Will Schwartz). Accomplished songwriting abounds on this surprising left field success, which sounds more like Fountains Of Wayne than Faith No More, with infectious pop confections that also rock. At their best, the band's ringing guitars and delicious girl group harmonies help make songs such as “Butch” and “You’re One” irresistibly catchy fun, but other grungier attempts are less cute and cuddly. The album features the blatantly sexual lyrics of a blatantly homosexual man (you gotta problem with that?), and the lyrics also dish up some disturbing images, in direct contrast to the generally upbeat music (and we critics eat up such contradictions). The grungy glam pop of "Water Boy" is another highlight, while "Pig Latin" is particularly pretty, and "Balloon" is both pretty and punky. "Copafeelia" is another pop song but with a moody edge, while "Luxury" is notable for its scathing anti-Courtney Love commentary (Bottom was friends with Kurt Cobain). All in all, despite a few filler-ish songs, I sincerely recommend this album, which features fine songs and agreeably unfussy performances.

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