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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Review: The Injured Parties - Fun With A Purpose

The Injured Parties - Fun With A Purpose
2009, Zenith Beast Records

The Injured Parties are a Chicago-based power trio propagating a mid-western brand of roots rock n roll that runs the gamut from Neil Young-style minimalism to the noise of The Velvet Underground. Front Man Larry O. Dean (Post Office, The Me Decade) has a vocal delivery reminiscent of Young, and band mates Jimmy DeLauriea (bass) and Mike Ebersohl (drums) help to build a musical base that's part Americana and part Garage Rock. The Injured Parties debut album, Fun With A Purpose, was produced by Mark Nevers (Lambchop, Calexico) and mastered by Mike Hagler (Wilco, Neko Case, The Mekons).

Fun With A Purpose opens with American Comfort, a vibrant Americana/Rocker that points to an American conceit regarding comfort and consumption in light of how it affects the rest of the world. Been There, Done That takes a limited arrangement and a lead vocal with a bare relationship to a key to offer a linguistically challenged set of lyrics. Dogwalker is an amusing vignette about unrequited love with someone who probably doesn't even know the narrator exists. The song could either be sweet or creepy depending on perspective, but the Americana arrangement is a good one even if there is a looseness to the band throughout. If You're Gonna Break My Heart has a Rembrandts feel to it ala "I'll Be There For You" mixed with a Luther Wright twang. It's an entertaining song with some real life to it but stays on the underside of sonic purity.

Linda Fiorentino is something of a teenage fantasy about a Hollywood babe who's a Terminator. The song is cute but not really funny and not terribly interesting past the first couple of listens. On Her Way To Becoming Something Else details the timeless story of someone young who heads off from home for no other reason than to not be where they grew up any longer. The song is full of adolescent leanings and a driving Americana arrangement that serves as the perfect frame for a caricature that is spot-on. Fun With A Purpose closes out with For Your Protection, a whimsical bit of fluff rock with Punk leanings; a variation on call and response where the backing vocalists sing the same line over-and-over, and as along as the lead vocalist can think of more responses the song can continue. It's a fun exercise with little lasting effect.

Fun With A Purpose is held together with sonic duct tape, with The Injured Parties battering the band structure as often as they play to. The album is amusing and entertaining without being highly musical. The energy of the songs sells the album, and if you accept to Lo-Fi approach and rough songwriting then you'll get it. An aura of satire is in the air, and it has The Injured Parties written all over it.

Rating: 3 Stars (Out of 5)

You can learn more about The Injured Parties at or You can purchase a copy of Fun With A Purpose at, or you can purchase a download through Amazon MP3.

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