Maxine's Radiator had a fun-loving psychedelic take on white-boy soul that made them one of Denton's most exciting live bands about a decade ago. I wore out my cassette copy of Plastissimo, and I can't be the only one who thinks they were a treasure: Fuzz Bites on Your Neck CDs go for up to $40 from amazon.com sellers.
Frontman Sean Kirkpatrick, a classically trained pianist, put his songwriting on the back burner when he joined the Paper Chase, but the time off may have done him some good. His excellent first solo disc manages to successfully split the difference between the jarring, creepy piano plinks of the Paper Chase and the soulful playfulness of Maxine's Radiator—without ever picking up the guitar.
Track 1, "The Interference," is one of the weirdest songs that ever lodged in my head and wouldn't leave. Sci-fi creepy theremin sounds and menacing, pounding piano clash until they put their arms around each other's shoulders and settle their differences in a bluesy 1-4-5 chorus. "Turn on the interference/I don't wanna have to feel it," Kirkpatrick slurs in his lazy, boozy drawl.
Sean Kirkpatrick performs at Club Dada Saturday, September 8, with The Great Tyrant.
Nothing quite matches the rush of "Interference," but the buzzing synth and simple, driving beat of "Fit to Survive" come close. The downbeat "The Bottle Let Me Down" somehow touches on every drinking-to-forget-her cliché without sounding clichéd, thanks to some inventive dissonant piano pounding.
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Turn on the Interference could use another anthem or two like "Interference," but it's nonetheless an awesome debut from one of Texas' best keyboardists.