The PoPo - The PoPo (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

The PoPo

The PoPo (2007)


Has Buddyhead jumped the shark? Some years ago, Arthur Fonzarelli jumped a literal and proverbial shark on "Happy Days," and all signs point to the label doing the same with the PoPo's self-titled release. This time, however, the man waterskiing in a leather jacket has been supplanted by a dance-punk band, that just a few years ago, would have been unceremoniously lambasted just as the Faint and Hot Hot Heat were before them.

So, what gives?

This self-titled effort is in effect a much less memorable endeavor than anything undertaken by the Faint, Moving Units, or the like, and only in a parallel universe where annoyance sells at a premium could this be considered anything worthwhile. The opening track, "Apples & Rings" is all too telling, as the repetitive dissonance and droning vocals are almost drowned out by cartoon-esque lazer sounds and an overbearing synth line.

The first track is supposed to be where a band makes an impression, where the band ropes in the listener for the rest of the album. What it's not supposed to do, is make said listener want eject the disc and throw it in the oven, and let me tell you, I'm not far from doing just that. Had they exercised more tact on that first track, people might be more inclined to listen to the followup -- the marginally better "I Feel Mysterious Today." Here too though, at a lesser extent, there's a constant annoyance propagated by the band, one that makes focusing on what they could be doing right completely impossible. A shrill bleep is consistently worked in with the frenetic rhythm, and it's almost as loud and noticeable as the hollow vocals from which it's almost impossible to discern a single word.

I wish I could say it got better, I do, but each of the eight songs is so plagued by at least one poor artistic decision from the band, that none stick out for a reason other than that which makes them annoying in the first place. If that's all the attention the band was looking for, surely they've now got it.

Buddyhead should have stuck to making a mockery of bands like this.