Waiting For Art – Strange Pleasures
Strange Pleasures, from Nebraska, should be commended for
representing the Midwest in the jamband scene. There are not many bands that
come from middle America, and I tried to let these cornhusking groovesters
take me to a place I'd never been. But…I'm still waiting.
Above all else, the songwriting is often flat and unoriginal. "Lying in the Sun,"
is among the most stereotypical jamband grooves
ever produced. It has Jerry synths, Trey solos and Donna vocals in a sick
sort of musical Neapolitan. Strange Pleasures doesn't
even try to hide its influences (for better or worse, to my mind the
latter). One song entitled "Fly On" has the lines
"It might have started kind of Phishy / Don't Panic, maybe it was Dead."
Strange Pleasures occasionally shows moments of intrigue,
particularly in the organ heavy choruses of tunes like "I Don't Want To" and
"The Van." Drummer Todd Roberson keeps the band in line with simple but
solid work although bassist Troy Johnson isn't always locked into the same
groove. In fact, he sometimes seems to be playing an entirely different
The capstone on Waiting for Art is a quirky tune called
"Hasselhoff." As you can imagine, anything branded with the Knight
star's name is bound to be terrifying. The chorus states "David
Hasselhoff / You really piss me off/ I wish you'd drown and wash up on the
sand." While intended to be humorous, this one didn't work for
me- it was something that feels worthy of an occasional live play but
feels misplaced as the final cut on a studio record.
Some listeners may find enjoyment in Waiting for Art. For me, I
would find any prolonged Pleasure nothing short of Strange.