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Published: 2004/03/30
by Brian Gearing

Marshmallow Pie – Spookie Daly Pride

self-released

Spookie Daly Pride is the kind of band that gives radio listeners the warm,
fuzzy feeling that they’ve discovered something new and different, but it
doesn’t turn them off with cold, distant hipness. The warm, inviting
acoustic glow of Marshmallow Pie could become a fan-fueled blaze if
the album gets significant airplay, and aside from industry politics,
there’s no reason it shouldn’t. Spookie Daly’s soulful growl comes from the
same free-spirited merry-maker mugging as Dr. John’s, and the band’s New
Orleans rag-funk is mixed up with just enough goofball eccentricity to plug
itself in to dorm rooms across the country.
Even the few tracks that seem to plod along at first eventually creep into
the hidden corner of the mind where songs become the soundtrack to your day.
The opener, "Karma Thunderbolt," kicks off with a big, shadowy beat, but
cheery carousel organs chime in and place the Pride’s tongue firmly in its
cheek. Daly’s low-end rumble may prod some listeners into Crash Test
Dummies comparisons, but the rest of the album has a good bit more soul than
that. "Pleasure Appointment" and "Goin’ To See the Governor" have sharp
enough hooks to cut through their somewhat contrived lyrics, which still
have a certain white bread charm.
While most of even the average tracks on Marshmallow Pie are
frighteningly infectious, the good ones have the potential for an epidemic.
The lazy funk of "Marshmallow Pie" will further fuel Dr. John comparisons
with its slow, sweaty Bourbon Street strut, and the bouncy keyboards and
bittersweet melody of Holy Rubbertramps" are irresistible, even if you
can’t understand what the hell Daly’s singing about. Bare bones drums and
gritty guitar riffs drive the edgy, rush-hour groove of "The Bump," which
would be right at home on a Chili Peppers record, and "Happy Happy" and
"Birthday Song" could both be huge singles. "Happy Happy" is more of a
stoner Bill Of Rights than the sickeningly cheerful summer camp anthem one
might expect from the title, and Birthday Song" could well be the biggest,
um, birthday song since the Beatles. If it ever hits the radio, you’ll never
hear the end of it.

You might not want to, either. Marshmallow Pie is just eclectic
enough to appeal to more adventurous listeners, but its warm, acoustic pop
sound is what will win Spookie Daly Pride its most dedicated fans. Rock
snobs might consider it the same old contrived attempt at ethnic integration
by a bunch of frat-boy types, but the average listener will hear in Spookie
Daly Pride the same thing they heard in the Barenaked Ladies and G. Love &
Special Sauce. Marshmallow Pie is pop music at its goofy, unself-conscious
best, and fun is the only thing Spookie Daly Pride takes all that seriously.
They are a perfect match for a starved audience whose only fun lately has
been the manufactured, plastic drone of focus group beats and pitch-adjusted
teenage whines that still have yet to go away. Real, genuine fun, it seems,
is finally making a comeback, and Spookie Daly Pride could well lead the
charge.

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