|My Superhero - Solid State 14|
Release Date: 1998
Record Label: 404 Music Group
I find it a bit ironic that the perfect summer soundtrack made its way into my hands on what's turning out to be one of the nicest days i've seen in the last couple years. Alright, i'll cut the jibber-jabber. I'm talking about My Superhero and their 1998 disc, Solid State 14. This album packs in it all; smooth upbeats, bouncy melodies, sing-a-long hooks, and a whole lote more, all combined together to create the perfect, relaxing soundtrack for those peaceful, sunny days. It sounds a bit corny, I know, but just wait until you hear it (assuming you haven't already) and you'll know what I mean. My Superhero, who were once a part of the thriving Orange County ska scene, had something special going.
What's so special, you ask? Instead of your typical horn section, the superheroes bring a moog and accordian into their mix, which I feel provides a whole new flavour for this record. The album kicks off with a now cliche, radio tuner opening, paving the way into Solid State 14's first hit, "Going Somewhere". Not only is nearly every tempo imaginable evident in this track alone, but guitarist and lead vocalist Brian Gilmore will have you dancing in no time. Although his vocals are quite passionate, his guitar chords are almost the polar opposite of that. While his voice manages to give the tune a deep, sensual feeling, the constant, danceable upbeats are what makes this records overall vibe concrete. "Leaving Soon", the third mark found here, follows in the same infectious footsteps set by the band, creating yet another summer anthem. I mean, come on, just listen to that snare drum and tell me it doesn't sound perfect. Drummer Chris Clawson manages to portray his own unique percussion style, all the while providing the perfect backbeat for every gem they pump out. Another thing I found quite amusing was track nine, "Intermission". The title really says it all, as this is nothing more than a hockey arena style announcer telling listeners to grab their peanuts and popcorn (this is a good time to make a quick trip to the washroom as well), as there's still a whole lot more left to come. "Reggie" is yet another standout track that gives you no other urge but to get up and dance. By the records sixteenth track, you'll find yourself wondering whatever inspired a band to write a song about this. "Sympathy For The Ants" is basically, more or less a story of a day in the life of one of the little guys, and a journey through their trials and tribulations. Lastly, the mood is toned down a bit as we reach the token slow song. However, i've got to say, this is a much more interesting, appealing song than the majority of the slower-paced closers i've come across.
In conclusion, now that i've rambled on longer than most of you probably would have liked, i'll sum all of this up. My Superhero aren't your everday third-wave ska band. If you're a listener of the genre, and don't mind the absence of a horn section, (the moog is really addicting, I swear!), you'll find yourself singing, dancing and smiling along before this beauty brings itself to a close. Lastly, what better way to end a review than with a classic, corny joke: these guys will be your superheroes in no time.