Presidents Of The United States Of America “These Are the Good Times People”

Album Reviews | Mar 5th, 2008

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Record Label: Fugitive Recordings
Genre: Alternative
Band Link: link
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It’s hard to believe that nearly ten years ago the Presidents of the United States of America almost quit making music entirely because they said that it just wasn’t fun anymore. With poppy songs like “Peaches”, “Lump” and “Mach 5”, whimsical lyrics and a style and sound all of their own, the Presidents were the epitome of fun. Big business music industry poked, prodded, gouged and pushed them under the carpet but the Presidents disappeared into the underground, went indie and have released two full lengths prior to their newest release, “These Are The Good Times People”.

“Mixed Up S.O.B.” kicks off the album with shades of both their self-titled release and their last album, “Love Everybody”. The guit-bass and bassitar are heavy, the drums steady and the solos screeching. It’s a great track to kick off an album that encompasses the old Presidents sound as well as it embraces the Presidents more modern rock sound. Just about everything that follows has a mix of both old and new. “Sharpen Up Those Fangs” is a showcase of Chris Ballew’s songwriting as well as his delivery and could have easily appeared on the self-titled release. “More Bad Times” is one of those visual masterpieces that Mr. Ballew is known for. The lyrics are so off the wall that you just can’t help but picture what it is that he’s singing about whether it’s a spork or a mad baboon. The bluegrass-tinged “Truckstop Butterfly” is reminiscent of “Bath Of Fire” and “Old Man On The Back Porch” with an alternative feel, the acoustic track “Loose Balloon” could be mistaken for a Shins song, while the last track on the album, “Deleter” showcases a new side of the Presidents that has yet to surface until now. With blaring horns and a funky backbeat, the Presidents find themselves treading in James Brown’s shoes…female backup vocals included.

While “These Are The Good Times People” can’t really compete with the Presidents Of The United States Of America’s first two albums (mainly because, in my mind, those two albums are untouchable), but it is by far the best Presidents release since II. Each of their albums has a slightly different feel and sound too it. This album continues that trend but what stands out about this album is that the Presidents weren’t afraid to touch upon a sound that they had created in the first place. “These Are The Good Times People” is an exceptional mix of both old and new as well as an introduction to what’s ahead. Boll Weevil tested. Froggy approved.

Bottom Line: The best Presidents album since the last one.
Notable Tracks: Truckstop Butterfly, Sharpen Up Those Fangs, Mixed Up S.O.B., More Bad Times
Overall Rating: