09 January 2006

zumpano - "the party rages on" (from look what the rookie did lp, out-of-print.)

zumpano was the group carl newman was in before the new pornographers; it was his tenure in that band that provided his credentials, that allowed the press to label the new pornos as a supergroup. they're talked about far less than destroyer, and, indeed, it's not newman's name that gives the band its name (he's sort of like the teddy pendergrass to jason zumpano's harold melvin--both of them drummers!) but at their best they were, yes, a super group, and "the party rages on" shows them at their peak. what separates this from his later work w/ the new pornos is the impotency of it, if you will. the new pornos are a muscular group, thudding and crashing, while "the party rages on" flops like the fringes on the band members and bounces like the kids pogoing in the crowd. still, even a cursory listen to the record demonstrates that newman had no gestation period or latency phase--in other words, he's had a way w/ words and tunes way before anyone knew who he was. the only giveaway is the closing harmonic breakdown, which tips its hat a little too generously to the band's power pop forebears. but that's just a peccadillo : "the party rages on" remains after all of these years one of newman's best compositions and an "i will survive" for the poptopia! crowd.

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