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DISCOGRAPHY: THE POPULAR ALTERNATIVE

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THE POPULAR ALTERNATIVE LP

Rock n' Roll Lifestyle
Cubby House
Bride of the Dragon
(Feat. Deborah Conway)
God Bless the Dancing Girls
The Pope Song
(Feat. Matt Sax)
Work Experience Boy
The War March
Hymn
Funny Guy
Solar Flares
Win at All Costs

 

CD: Chaos (Australia)
CDBaby (US)

Download: iTunes

 

“...an inspired pieces of wackiness and outrage... set to a sharp, jangly pop sound reminiscent of Britpop at its brightest”.

(Sydney Morning Herald)

To all those kids in Africa who aren’t eating enough / I don’t think you understand I’m the one who has it tough / Sure you’re dying of starvation and disease / But at least the paparazzi respect your privacy

Man Bites God are masters of delivering a piss-take with a straight face, and with nothing but sincerity in performance and production. The above paragraph was lifted from the opening track, Rock n’ Roll Lifestyle, a catchy jive written form the perspective of a rocker who wishes he could stop snorting coke off the breasts of groupies and just meet a nice girl who would knit him a sweater.

Man Bites God are actually a mean bunch of multi-instrumentalists, with each taking on between two and five different playing duties throughout the album. My guess is that, having discovered they couldn’t write a serious song to save themselves, they just decided piss-takes were a better way to make a living than top 40 covers.

Some fine moments include The War March, a crisp woodwind and snare roll tune plugging recruitment in The Army Reserve. “For those who like their horror in bite-sized portions”, so the slogan goes. Also, there’s the 70’s glitz-pop production of Solar Flares, “Made from Hydrogen and Helium… she’s the poster-girl for spontaneous self-combustion in her Solar Flares”. And while I’d love to tell you about the insecure pleas for recognition from the self-aware unlisted bonus track, some things are just too good to spoil. Suffice to say the Python geezers would be proud.

Catholics beware! Listening to even a few seconds of some parts of this album will prompt you to not walk, but sprint to the nearest confessional booth… There’s sexual fantasies about the Pope and Jesus! (Didn’t some guy almost put Rove off the air for doing that?) Indeed sometimes your first reaction will be one of dumbfounded shock… but laugher will usually ensue. And while there’s not much to The Pope Song except cheap shock value, even prudish types like me can’t help but crack a smile at lines like this from Hymn: “When he says ‘Take this, my body’, I don’t think he means bread…”

My favourite? Deborah Conway’s guest spot as the long-suffering wife of a ninja in Bride of the Dragon. “When he asked me to move into his dojo, I said yes, even though his voice was badly dubbed… But now it’s just a life spent in cat-like readiness!” she moans.

(Jesse Shrock, Beat)

"Like Crowded House, but with more gags. The Popular Alternative will leave you smiling and humming for days... Short, sharp pop gems... If Ben Folds actually grew up in Adelaide, instead of just living there for part of the year, this is what he'd sound like."

(Jeff Jenkins, Inpress)

Flash music player.