Saturday, October 18, 2008

Absentee- not lacking in songs

Admittedly, I have a weakness for indie bands that write brainy love songs and London-based Absentee is definitely one of them that can stand, sit or squat alongside Magnetic Fields and Mountain Goats (even if I think the former are a little overrated). Dan Michaelson (of Absentee) has a deep booming voice that gets compared sometimes to Fields' Stephin Merritt or Tom Waits but the real model is Kurt Wagner (Lambchop). I admit that sometimes this kind of singing (fruity if you're not in the mood) can be a gimmick but Michaelson makes the most of it with an ultray catchy bunch of tunes that dig into you and stay with you and it definitely helps to have Melinda Bronstein's voice to help sweeten the proceedings. Proof positive is their second album Victory Shorts (Memphis Industries), which features a Daniel Clowes-like cartoon cover (even though it was actually drawn by one of the band's guitarists).

There's also, conveniently enough, two videos out of the liveliest songs on the album, which you can enjoy here.

That's "Bitchstealer," done here as a newscast with correspondents.

"Boy, Did She Teach You Nothing" shows the band making mayhem in a library.


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