Misinformation Overload

  • TV Smith
  • Boss Tunage
  • 2006-04-03

Like the japanese soldier found in 1995 who believes that WWII is still going on, TV Smith hasn’t really moved too far from the punk rock modus operandi of his previous band, The Adverts, except perhaps the crisper, more crunchy (probably) pro-tooled production and the use of a few synths. This is no particular bad thing and will find enthusiasts in fans from his youth and perhaps some ‘smash the system’ anarchists. Oh, and some of Germany, where he’s quite popular. In fact Misinformation Information features a member of Teuton chart toppers Die Toten Hosen on drums (not altogether a promising statement) and a song in German, “Es Stort Mich Nicht” (“It’s not disturbing me”).

From its punning title throughout most of the rest of this record Smith is preoccupied with ‘the man’ and his attempts at control and subsequent hypocrisy. He’s not exactly a master of subtlety, not so much using a velvet glove as a baseball bat with the lyrics written on it, but you cannot complain of ambiguity. “Not In My Name” rails against proposed ID cards, “More Than This” searches for satisfactions beyond capitalisms hollow rewards. The mostly angry, frustrated outlook is relieved in the final track however, “Carrying On”, which is actually quite touching as he sings about keeping positive in the face of adversity — “There’s a gift that troubles bring, that’s a wonderful thing”.

At its best it echoes the Pixies later moments.

As a document there are powerful sentiments at work but the overall effect is let down somewhat by the music. As mentioned earlier the guitars buzz and chug along furiously. At its best it echoes the Pixies later moments (although lacking Frank Black’s mentalist edge) in the likes of “Not In My Name” or “Bring the Bull Down”. Opener in particular “Good Times are Back” is a cracking blast of melodic punk rock. But too often it sounds like plodding pub rock for ageing punks and after the first few tracks the arrangements become a bit stale and unimaginative.

There are some fine moments on this record but its not much of a thriller, although if you’re into hanging out in Camden and drinking cider at midday you might disagree.

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