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'The Vertical Mind'   

-  Label: 'Happy Happy Birthday To Me'
-  Genre: 'Pop' -  Release Date: '26th October 2017'-  Catalogue No: 'HHBTM187'

Our Rating:
Fred Schneider of the B-52's is back with his side project The Superions. They are a space age electronic pop band that sound remarkably similar to the B-52's though they play with more modern instruments and production. Essentially, though, this sounds exactly how you'd expect it to.

From the opening title track we are in feelgood party mood. Fred introduces the album before Konnichiwa takes over as a slightly askew sing-long dance tune with some very cool organ parts along with the typically wry lyrics and Fred slipping into multiple languages to ask how are you!

Glitter Gulch is a pumping disco holler out to the Girls going wild on the strip and probably dancing in formation just to make us all smile while Fred sounds like a line dance caller on acid. Oh, and the music reminds me of 80's TV themes gone disco like the Magnum theme needed to be a dance hit to get the ladies on the floor once more.

It's then time to go and grab some tapas with Albondigas (Meatballs! Ole!). Yes Fred sings the menu at his favourite Tapas place and encourages us to indulge, damn where are the Patatas Bravas when you need them? Sleeping Booty is not Sleeping Booty as the track listing no longer matches up with the music, so this song is a bit slower and some sort of a love song (or is it more lust song?) with a cool breakdown and synth noises.

The spanner has been thrown in the works and Strip Search plays next, instead of Stampede at The Petting Zoo as listed. This is a wry look at how travelling has become so much more of a pain than it used to be. I'd also guess that Fred has suffered some poor treatment due to looking like he does.

Then it's back to Stampede At The Petting Zoo, all about what happens if the animals lose control having taken a bunch of drugs and gone wild and the kids must run for safety. This is all sorts of weird and odd and yet still kinda cool. Next up is Sleeping Booty, with a real Bootsy Collins disco Funkadelic sleazy all night long feel to it as we are ready to get down and dirty with that there Sleeping Booty.

Passport Wallet Cellphone opens with a spoken word skit before the funky music comes in and Fred intones the song title over and over as we know they are the most important things you need to own. The lyrics are knowing and have enough of a dig at the 1% to put a smile on many faces.

Next is Kiss Me To Heaven which is not how the track listing has it, but still it's a slinky modern dance pop tune and it's nicely minimal with Fred's deadpan vocals over the top. It's pretty cool and asking someone to Kiss You to Heaven is a good chat up line.

Fred then does a spoken word intro about the next song being recorded in Australia before a sing-along with a chorus of singers on When the Dingoes Ate The Babies which just brings up bad memories of an awful film that seemed to always be showing on the in-flight movie channel for a good decade.

We then get the properly odd (Underpants) In The Rain, which is frankly a very strange kiss off tune as Fred explains that he gets over you by wearing his underpants in the rain (as you do) over a minimally funky dance song.

I'll guess the next song that doesn't have a song listing is called Peg Leg. It's not the best song I have on this subject of women with peg legs but then Mike Absalom's Laura The Leg will take some beating on that front. Nonetheless, it's a good odd dance tune. Fred then puts on his best seductive voice for the very minimal Love That Knew No Name or whatever the song is actually called.

The album then finishes with a second version of Glitter Gulch which is now a full-on pumping dance floor banger to make sure everyone gets down and has a damn good time. That's pretty much what this album is made for, I just wish all the songs played in the order they were meant too!! But the probably do on the Vinyl version, so check that out if you can.

Find out more at Happy Happy Birthday To Me Records online

Or: The Superions Facebook Page
  author: simonovitch

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