Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Drew Toothpaste - Toothpaste For Dinner Ultimate Music CD

("Charles Has A Licking Problem")

Download: Dog Traders (Drew Toothpaste) - "Belgium"
Download: Dog Traders (Drew Toothpaste) - "Rebel & The Rock"
Download: Dog Traders (Drew Toothpaste) - "New Planet"
Download: Dog Traders (Drew Toothpaste) - "Shipwreck"
Download: Dog Traders (Drew Toothpaste) - "Nasal Irrigation"
Download: Dog Traders (Drew Toothpaste) - "Comb Your Beard"
Download: Dog Traders (Drew Toothpaste) - "Molecules Surround Us"
Download: Kompressor (Drew Toothpaste) - "S.H.P"
Download: Kompressor (Drew Toothpaste) - "Vogel Und Reptilian"
Download: Kompressor (Drew Toothpaste) - "Crush Television"
Download: Kompressor (Drew Toothpaste) - "Kompressor want to Get With You"
Download: Kompressor (Drew Toothpaste) - "Kompressor Does Not Dance"

Drew Toothpaste
Toothpaste For Dinner Ultimate Music CD (Self-released, 2007)
Grade: A-

Drew, the web-comic artist behind Toothpaste for Dinner and Married to the Sea (with wife Natalie Dee), has released a comprehensive record of all his music projects from the years 2003-2007. The collection went out in a limited run of 300 copies, and no further attempts to distribute the material will be made. I was fortunate enough to nab a copy before they all ran out in less than two days.

The collection contains seven albums worth of music, which includes both Toothpaste's more straightforward from Dog Traders (Drew's indie pop/comedy alias) and Kompressor, his more satirical techno alter-ego.

The first item I loaded from the disk was a collection of Dog Traders' music. The collection's beginning albums, The Floor Is Made Of Lava and A Panic In A Pagoda, are albums full of veritably listenable indie-pop and loads of good humor.

Bands from the Elephant Six Collective and their offspring heavily influence both albums, with The Floor Is Made Of Lava especially being full of sweet psychedelia and fuzz-heavy folk. Songs such as "New Planet" generate a simple, understated folk-pop sound mixed with the lazy flow of Essex Green. Drew's muted vocals prove him to be a dead ringer for Elf Power's Andrew Rieger, making favorable comparisons between the two bands all but unavoidable.

Tracks such as "City Hall" and "Molecules Surround Us" show the aforementioned similarity as an homage, rather than as a insipid carbon copy. Dog Traders expand their sound with synthesizer, electronic percussion and melodies which are even bolder than the considerable tunes of Elf Power. The tongue-in-cheek humor of the tracks likens the group to Apples In Stereo, but this album is also perfect for those of us who still loyally follow the Elephant Six Collective.

The second Dog Traders album included in the collection, A Panic In A Pagoda, starts out with "Belgium," an explosion of synth-pop. The song helps establish the fact that Pagoda itself is far removed from the mellow psychedelia of Lava. Tracks such as "Rebel and the Rock" feature melodies much more prominently, as compared to the muted tones on Lava; Song construction is also radically different, an effect which is augmented by Pagoda's louder instrumentation. The overall sound of the album calls to mind E6's rowdy cousin, Of Montreal.

The third Dog Traders album included is a collection of comedy songs. These songs have been featured in Drew's YouTube videos, and are absolutely hilarious. That said, the songs are much better with the accompanying images. At the top of the post, you'll find my personal favorite, "Charles Has a Licking Problem."

As mentioned before, Kompressor's albums are also included. Unlike Dog Traders, Kompressor songs had been commercially available, until Drew sold off his remaining collection of tunes. Kompressor is geeky electronic music in the vein of the Super Mario Brothers Soundtrack and, while it's not something normally my scene, this project manages to be hilarious. Drew sing-talks on top of the beats in a German accent, parodying many geek-tronica and geek-metal bands, and his rasped, robotic delivery of lyrics such as "Kompressor will crush you" and "look both ways before crossing da street" can't help but make one smile.

To cement the album's hilarity, Kompressor covers R.E.M.'s "Shiny Happy People," here renamed "S.H.P." and Beck's "Deborah," renamed "Kompressor Want To Get With You." These covers are excellently chosen, as nothing better could fit in between the album's mock-threatening techno than shouts of "Happy! Happy!" and bad pick-up lines ("Lady! Step inside my Volkswagon!") over a growling bassline.

Since these albums are free for copy, I've included a large sampling of my favorite tracks from the collection.

Drew Toothpaste Journal
Drew Toothpaste MySpace Page

(April Wright)

*800th Post!

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