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Published: 2002/09/24
by Brad Weiner

Words – Homunculus


Homunculus worked magic on my CD player and my ears. I have
never heard anything quite like it. There is no section in the music store
to describe the quirky, funny, and interesting music that they lay out in
eleven short tracks on their new album, Words.

Words is a great title for this album since the lyrics are its
hippest component. Although I have no liner notes to check on I can honestly
say that on several occasions I laughed out loud while they strung together
phrases that drive like a combination of Beck and Weezer. One line in
"Here and There" announces "Down here everything is black and white or
shades of green," the next line is indiscernible up to the point where they
say "billions of strung out teens". The lines are clever enough that you
don't see 'em coming, but they aren't so obviously out there as to sound
misspelled seafood.

Homunculus allows breaks in the vocals for funky little instrumental
ditties. It would be wrong to say that they jam, but who ever said that ten
minute songs are the secret to the universe? Their musical abilities are
obviously apparent despite the short tracks. The bass thumps the songs
through their rough spots. The drumming is simple but it rocks. If one
listens closely there are awesome boogie-woogie piano lines in the back that
add both dimension and color to a band who would be described as
"alternative" if they weren't so damn talented.

"Your Own Design" sounds like a 1950s drive-in ballad on speed, a
description I have yet to give to any other music that has trickled into my
ears during my short lifetime. "Deep South Blues" is a funky piece of work
that displays some percussive genius in the tiny gaps of interplay with the

If you're thinking about breaking out of the Dead, Phish, Panic,
Cheese mode that we have all at some point wandered into then I would say
Homunculus is a good place to start. They rock hard, play well, have fun and
keep the spirit of the music in the front of the sound. Words is a
hip album
and it will impress your friends. Expand your mind. Check it out.

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