by David Welper
Knee Deep Shag’s Good Disguise is 11 quirky songs of the trials and tribulations of relationships. Keyboardist Rob Cookman blends playfully with the rest of the band and leads himself into tempting solos on “Early Evening Mood” and “Angelina.”
The most interesting song on the album, however, is the 52-second interlude, “Rearranged,” a spaced-out beat backed by whistles, keyboards and murmurs of the guys in the band, talking about a girl rearranging them.
But my praises are short-lived.
Knee Deep Shag’s lyrics try to be something special, like they have something important to say, but they fail. Their mundane lyrics are stories about past loves, but these songs would make any intelligent person who’s had heartache cringe from sheer boredom. “Sometimes the memories/Make you think,” in “Angelina.” Or “Storming out I left you/In the laundromat alone/Folding anger into piles/of my clothes.” Come on now.
This record is full of what I like to call “chore music.” Pop it into the CD player just for some background noise while washing dishes, vacuuming or making dinner. Maybe even catch a chorus or two, or hear it in a different way by distancing yourself from it. But for the most part, “chore music” is something you’ve heard too many times before and know what to expect from it. It doesn’t challenge.
E-mail David Welper at firstname.lastname@example.org.