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Album Review

THE DEMENTIANS
Cosmic Cheese?

First off, these guys (The Dementians)are really this guy--- one David Jacques from Toronto--- who has this multi-dimensional take on pop music which while it may not seem like a step outside the box is. He has a vision of what each song should be and sonofagun if he doesn't get there and in some of the most oddly creative ways I can imagine. He crunches and sugar-coats, twangs and bangs, twists and bends until he squeezes just the right amount of whatever it is he needs to make it right. And much like one of my favorite bands of all-time, Gruppo Sportivo, he at times ties it all together with a sense of humor which almost overrides ( the key word is almost) the music.

Take the lead-off track, Middle Class Revolution, a crunching semi-electronic punk rap full of absurdist humor (the “revolution” is signified by a sigh and a roll of the eyes and is brought on by a driver who is allowed into a lane of traffic and “didn't even give me the wave”). Two thirds of the way through, a dream-like psych/pop cloud envelops the scene, light folk melody and harmonies a cross between Harper's Bizarre and maybe The Five Americans sans balls. It is catchy, rhythmic, melodic and schizophrenic in a pop rock vein and never ceases to make me chuckle. While I love the fluffy pop ending and find myself lipping the line “middle class revolution” in lines at grocery stores, it is always the rapped line “Sigh and roll your eyes like this” which grabs me--- a perfect way for a couch potato to revolt.

Speaking of hooks, Cosmic Cheese has one I can't seem to get out of my head, a light rhythmic shuffle of rhythm guitar around which Jacques tosses another guitar and a bass line to excellent effect. Who cares that the song starts out “Cosmic cheese is eating me/there's a hole where my heart used to be...”, an innocuous beginning at first glance, because he slowly makes his point on, let us say, a cosmic level? The rap bridge is a nice touch, too.

Of the fourteen tracks supplied by Mr. Jacques, there isn't a clinker in the whole bunch. There is the very Ambrosia-like My Soul Survivor, a melodic space number devoted (and this time seriously) to love--- an outstanding track; Infatuated, with its King's X rhythm guitar and beat; the just off-the-mark vocals and guitar of The Idea of You with its very early Talking Heads rhythm; the T'pau with male vocals on In Focus.....

What really sold me, though, is the highly popped-up Addicted to Porn, a song of classic denial. Seems this guy is doing the Net porn thing and his girlfriend/wife doesn't like it but like all us guys, he shifts the blame. Lines like “I don't have a problem with it, but she does...” and “She thinks I'm a dick/Addicted to porn...” crack me up and when he sings “You can't deny the logic of it/It's free”, it's all I can do to keep from laughing out loud. A novelty song? It would be except that it's more than just the lyrics--- it's a damn good song.

The Dementians have flown under the radar for a few years now but I can't see that going on for too much longer. Jacques has too good of a touch with the music as well as the humor and..... Well, who knows? I have been a staunch supporter of Gruppo Sportivo for years (hell, it's been decades now) and we know how internationally famous they became. They deserved better. So does David Jacques. You can check the music out here.

Frank O. Gutch Jr.

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