Big Machines

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Posted July 5, 2006 by Hearsay in Music

U2-ish rockers Titan Moon have been quiet ’round these parts lately, chiefly because primary songwriters Tyler Casey and Nate Schneidewent got better things to do – I shit you not.

Apparently, audiences outside of Fort Worth have been more receptive to Titan Moon’s particular brand of highly polished, streamlined, aggressive-but-never-loud alt-rock, and they’ve been rewarded with more Titan Moon gigs. A lot, in fact. Casey and Schneidewent are also putting the finishing touches on their second full-length album, Fairies & Mermaids, a disc that, like the band’s previous recording, the Postcard Republic e.p., was produced by multi-instrumentalist Enrique Gonzalez-Diaz. Both recordings were made in Mexico, where Gonzalez-Diaz lives. Keeping the band even busier, Schneidewent recently became a proud father of two. As for the music, allow me to be the first to tell you that it’s in the same league as that of my faves (Black Tie Dynasty, Calhoun, The February Chorus, The Burning Hotels, Collin Herring, Goodwin, Modico).

With the exception of BTD, pretty much every other great band in town may never prove mainstream enough to secure commercial radio play. Not that being heard on The Edge is every band’s dream, but that kinda exposure definitely doesn’t hurt. And like much of BTD’s stuff, some of the tracks on F&M do more than stand alone as dancy rockers. They can easily be re-imagined as pure dance numbers. Just remember you heard it here first: Titan Moon’s first single, “Someone Like Me,” is a certified radio hit. The song’s that good – I shit you not. … One thing I really miss about the ’90s are all those novelty bands: They Might Be Giants (don’t tell me they’re still around, I don’t care), Barenaked Ladies (ditto), those 2 Live “mutha fuckin’!” Crew rip-offs – a little levity never hurt anyone, even if it is only for a few hours, which is why I’m digging North Texas’ nuevo-wave of throwback goofballs.

I’m sure by now y’all have heard of Lazer, three guys from around here whose shtick requires them to pretend they’re from Germany, speak with German accents, and perform electro-Euro-synth-pop onstage in Speedos, sweatbands, and not much else. Some other lovable goobers are Fishboy, The Man Factory, Eaton Lake Tonics, and a couple-a other really professional, really accomplished, lighthearted outfits. Of all of them, however, the best may be the least known. Created from the spare parts of Chatterton songs, 40% Robot’s music is funky and Beck-ish, and the lyrics – rapped, not sung – all revolve around a single concept: The story, according to the actual human being who wrote everything (and who wishes to remain anonymous), concerns a half-robot created in Canada and through various circumstances becomes obsessed with a certain part of the female anatomy.

All I’m going to say is that the name of 40 % Robot’s first “single” is “Fishtank.” Over poppin’ Stevie Wonder-ish organ lines and a dirty groove, 40% Robot raps: “First of all, I’ll eat some sour kraut / But not before I make myself a grilled cheese / And not before I open up a Sprite / And not before I put it in your fishtank.” Don’t ask. For more, check out www.myspace.com/fortypercentrobot.

Contact HearSay at hearsay@fwweekly.com.


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