[30 November 2010]
PopMatters Associate Music Editor
The Jigsaw Seen has been making bizarre and striking pop music since 1988, and Bananas Foster is their latest expansive offering. That expanse is deceiving, though, since everything here feels pretty well under control. The spacey chug of opener “Bertha Brilliance” leads nicely into the jangling acoustics of “David Hart’s Name of Song”, and sets a pretty consistent flow for the record. This is goofball pop, to be sure—check out titles like “Choreography Killed the Cat”—populated by wooden boys and oddly colored raccoons, but these guys, now pros at what they do, temper their eccentricity with some serious rock-band chops. The drums crash in a Moon-esque cacophony all over these songs, and guitars swirl in atmospheric surges, leading these relatively tight pop songs into that expansive realm. The combination of control and sonic size is what makes these songs work. Song to song, the kook factor can run a little high, but with the hooks and energy most of these songs show, it’s hard to fault them for not offering up more serious words to go on top of it all.