Cool, cute, geeky experimental feel-good jangle pop a la Guster, Bishop Allen, Of Montreal (of course), the Unicorns, the New Pornographers, Apples in Stereo. Their promo stuff compares them to Elvis Costello. I mean, that’s cool too. Very crisp, tight recording, great use of space, not a wasted effect or line or sound. Very versatile for a so-called “pop” band. Some tracks have male vocals, some have female vocals.|
Casper & the Cookies are the side-project of Jason NeSmith (that’s “NEE-smith”), aka Casper Fandango, who used to play in Of Montreal. The band were first called Casper Fandango & the Knees and then Casper Fandango & His Tiny Sick Tears. “The Cookies” must be an improvement of sorts. The other cookies: Kay Stanton (Jason’s wife) and Jim Hix.
try: 2, 4, 1, 11
then: 3, 12, 18
FCC: 8 (“ass”)
*1. takes a melody run from “like a virgin” and swings with it. catchy, uptempo glam, nice call-and-response between guitar and bass. “oh yeah” backing vocals.
*2. all-around awesome. rapid drummed-chord keys, hooky bass, full-band vocals, a truly distinct verse/chorus, fun pop that pulls out all the stops. watch out, the outro ends abruptly.
*3. kicks off with erratic drums & bass, spoken girl vox (sleater-kinney ish), pretty interesting, but hard to get the hang of, rhythmically -- unexpected keys/synth breakdown at end.
*4. male vox, bouncy, sounds a little like... super mario. cute as hell bass line!
5. slow. spacey synth, thirds on the keys, drum machine. falsetto vox.
6. heavy bass intro, girl vox, “giddy-up” chorus, cutesy kiddie ditty about... bugs.
7. slow, no drums. bright fingerpicked guitar, choral backing “wa wa ooh”s, heavy piano towards end, off-topic outro
8. FCC s/h “ass” -- the space effects make me a little nauseous, but this is a fun track. combo falsetto & flamboyant male vocals. classic rock sound. kinda kiss, kinda queen.
9. girl vox. fast, rocky, busy bass, could be the new pornographers.
10. high-reaching male vox. slower, somewhat country-tinged guitar.
*11. very elvis costello. heavy groovy bass, male vox, backing beachy “ahs”.
*12. an opus! plonky high piano & falsetto verses, segues into big piano & funk bass chorus. change-up to an airy “ah” waltz for the bridge. a broadway number, totally.
13. saloon piano and strong, sustained cowgirl vox. repetitive vamp to end. sounds like a camp song.
14. boppy. more saloon piano, bells, male vox. lots of dramatic gaps / seeming dead air. it’s okay! the last chord at :35 is it, musically. fade out early.
15. behold the cabana mariachi vibe. brushed drums & claves, beachy guitar and “ah”s, total island chill-out music. male vox.
16. slow, lush. swirling wraparound keys, wind/ocean effects, drums & male vox in at :56, very weird backing vocals. old school keyboard effects. play with next track.
17. play with track 16. dissonant off-the-beat or cut-off vox over instrumental vibe from prior track. elements (credited) from “(they long to be) close to you”. technically fades into next track, but you can safely cut it off when it ends.
*18. weird/long experimental instrumental with lots of musical ideas. everyone and their cousin contributed to this track... except the band. full credits on the liner. it’s fifteen minutes. bring a book.