Generationals | Con Law
Most Likely To: get Grandpa and Junior to throw a dance party together.
Pop music: some people have it, some don’t. They should have a reality show where they give songwriters inane phrases like “Oooey-oh / Ohhh eee-ooohhhh” and challenge them to make a chorus out of it that’s not only not-ridiculous, but ingeniously hooky. Songs like the anthemic “Exterior Street Day” off Generationals‘ latest album Con Law would win the crap out of such a contest, and surely kick all the other bands off the island. An effervescent and jubilant party-hop through the decades, Con Law sounds how I wish I felt all the time.
Ted Joyner and Grant Widmer, apparently friends since the 9th grade, hail from the gloriously colorful and diverse New Orleans. They worked with Oranges Band founder Daniel Black to record Con Law with a “willingness to make the album sound old.” The result is a collection of songs (released in July of 2009–yes, we’re late) infused with all the fun parts of pop music history class: echoing Spector walls of sound, shuffling ’50s dance party beats (“Nobody Could Change Your Mind”), ’60s girl- and boy-group vocals and harmonies (“When They Fight, They Fight”), tons of trumpet that can be haunting (“It Keeps You Up”) or catchy in a James Brown backing band kinda way, ’70s organs, and ’80s synths and basslines (“These Habits”). It’s like an inter-generational dance party, all meshing together, and brimming with percussion shakers and chimes and bells.
Such a myriad of embellishments could give you a sugar hangover if they felt at all forced, but they don’t; the balance is also helped by the fact that the lyrics settle somewhere in the middle of the Glycemic Index. If their live show is as addicting as this album–or once the people at Shrek Forever After or Apple hear the band–I almost fear how popular this great band can get.
Watch the video for “Angry Charlie” below: