Baumer: Were It Not for You

[3 March 2008]

By Joe Tacopino

According to this band’s poorly written Wikipedia page, they lifted their name from the 2001 Wes Anderson flick “The Royal Tenenbaums”. “Baumer” was the nickname of Richie Tenenbaum, the tragic figure whose once promising tennis career was derailed when he threw a match due to a broken heart. It is unfortunate that the band Baumer, like their cinematic namesake, do not seem to live up whatever expectations one may have of them. The band’s 2005 debut featured a moderately catchy single, “Take What’s Mine”, which blended New Order-type ‘80s synth pop with some of today’s more modern sounding Killers-era alt rock. The group fares well when they turn down the distortion and let the synth do most of the work, but more often then not this isn’t the case on Were it Not For You. Song after song features the same cookie cutter guitar riffs, rendering the band to bargain bin of ‘00s alternative. The album’s title track shows how the group can survive with a little Postal-Service-meets-New-Wave vibe. But at track 11 the song is too little too late. It’s 40-Love Baumer, ball’s in your court.

Published at: http://www.popmatters.com/pm/review/baumer-were-it-not-for-you/