The Press - Noxious Saucy Beast (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

The Press

Noxious Saucy Beast (2005)

Good Night

The cover of this album, from the looks of it, is a recreation of Uncle Phil throwing Jazz out the door on an episode of "The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air," as recreated by skinny white guys who work in cubicles. Unfortunately for us all, there is no enhanced content on this album of Carlton dancing to Tom Jones, but I've been told it's the album that's important, not the dancing. That said, how does the Press' Noxious Saucy Beast compare to Alfonso Ribeiro? On the whole, slightly less dancy, but a lot more melodic.

This EP from the Press is an ambitious effort into post-punk territory, with a dance rock swagger. Most of the EP has a real danceable quality, and for the moments that don't, it's so seamless that you barely notice a transition at all. "Three Point Three" opens with a jangly guitar line, and a real bouncy beat kept by the drummer, and main vocalist vocalist John Walsh follows that beat to a tee. All three band members take their share of vocal duties, but Walsh takes time out of putting hardened criminals behind bars to handle the majority of singing duties for the Press. His inflections range from a low, melodic singing to sharp, almost shouted vocal patterns. The vocals work the best when all three men sing together, but it happens too rarely to ever really grow accustomed to. Walsh almost wails at times, and that's where his voice can test your nerves, whereas the melodic singing is much less abrasive.

The Press lay down some really good bases for songs, with some really interesting dynamics, but for the most part this suffers from "these guys don't know when to end a song" disorder. "With One Hand" is a perfect example of just not knowing when to cut things short, as it seems like the chorus resonates at the end of the song for another 4 minutes. This EP could easily be under 20 minutes, just short and sweet enough to be truly enjoyable, but instead it drags on to end at almost the 26-minute mark. The best song on the EP is easily "Fattest Pigeon;" although ironically the longest, the Press manage to find the perfect balance between danceable music and great melody-driven rock. I'm not one for music being derivative and formulaic, but a little more uniformity with these songs couldn't have hurt.

I'm sure there's a decent audience for this sort of thing; it can be a fun record, but it misses more than it hits. There's some clever guitar parts, some good melodies, but the puzzle never fully gets put together. Bits and pieces in some songs would fit well with bits and pieces in others, but the songs just aren't constructed that way. Simplicity isn't always the ticket, but a little more of it here would have made this a better effort.