steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

L.A. Tool and Die

"Fashion for the Evildoer" CD

AAJ Records

Genres: indie rock, indie pop

AAJ Records
PO Box 241595
Charlotte, NC

Oct 25 - 31 2004

This isn't exactly an easy album to get into.  The indie rock contemptuousness that L.A. Tool and Die mock on Fashion for the Evildoer's first song, "Jesus Saved Me at the Record Show," is precisely what will get in the way of success for the band.  Their cheery, unfailingly upbeat approach to music is charming, but after ten songs one can tire of the positive attitude.  L.A. Tool and Die make it clear they aren't trying to be ironic or witty; they're just having fun.

There's no better example then "Lucky For Me," which is both cheery and somewhat funny.  The verse is comprised of bittersweet lyrics depicting the end of a major relationship; the chorus is what grabs the listener's attention: "guess it's lucky for me that I am so very happy" repeated over and over.  The bounciness of the tune seems to make fun of the subject matter, but it also exemplifies a touchingly optimistic take on life.  "Galaxy High School" is also fun and cute (it depicts a futuristic outer space romance), while "1983" takes a silly trip to the eighties.  Some of the other songs aren't as great ("Flat on My Back," "I'll Give You Three"), and at times the perpetual cheeriness may induce a cringe or two, but fortunately there is enough enjoyable content on this disc to keep the open-minded listener entertained.  Whether this disc will stay in my stereo for weeks on end is debatable; for now, at least, I'm having fun.


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 11 tracks, distributed by the label, released 2004]