[20 June 2007]
PopMatters Associate Music Editor
The title Deliver Us From People, like most of the album’s lyrics, makes the most sense when you roll with the idea that this band of five Minneapolis rock n’ rollers has been replaced by animals, like the tiger-faced drummer on the cover. Consider the album a cry of help from our animal friends—mostly playful, sometimes philosophical, and occasionally overly strident (lots of talk of “freedom”). On that front it succeeds best when it feels like a dream, a quality accentuated by the dreamier side of their vocal harmonizing, and not hurt by one of the vocalists sounding a lot like ultra-surrealist Robyn Hitchcock. Just as often as surrealists, though, this band of animals resembles a high-powered power-pop group, with Kinks tendencies but also a habit of expressing each thought with a power chord. Picture a bunch of tiger-faced, human-bodied, leather-jacketed stadium-rockers on stage, surrounded by bright lights and fog machines: Cheap Trick reborn as mythological man-beasts, with chips on their shoulders.