There’s an old Baboon Dooley cartoon that haunts me whenever I start fuming to myself about the wimpy, bovine hopelessness of today’s alt-rock. The strip featured Creem Metal editor Chuck Eddy as a cigar-chomping four-star general, blasting spittle in the face of poor loser trend-rock-critic Baboon, haranguing him for being such a dweeb.
It’s tough: if I were stuck on a desert island with only xylophone-peppered indie (like that Los Campesinos song from the new Budweiser commercials) for entertainment, I’d bash my own head in with a rock and end it quick. But meantime I really try not to be that Chuck Eddy general in front of you guys, so my wife is the one who has to listen to me scream at the TV when Los Campesinos (or the cutely repressed T-Mobile chick, etc.) comes on, with all that stupid wimpy xylophone (do you guys really like xylophone, or is this a colossal generational punking?).
That being said, the new Acid House Kings record is acceptable to me. Pure, unapologetic Columbia House pop, like Belle & Sebastian picking up on Phil Collins’s ’60s-girl-group fetish, xylophone-free (save for some emulation on “Waterfall”), whimsical state-of-the-art alt-rock that I’d normally toss spitballs at if it weren’t awesome. So buy it, or whatever you do to obtain music.
A —Eric W. Saeger