Review: The Adults
By Greg Beets
Soothing Sounds For Baby (Fume)
OCTOBER 13, 1997:
Soothing sounds my ass! This album takes you on a wild ride frought with many
a hairpin curve, and once the Adults get their motors running, there's no time for
scenic overlooks. Combining the aural non-sequiturs of Raymond Scott and Carl Stalling
with an intimate homemade punk aesthetic, Soothing Sounds for Baby resonates
like a strange Saturday morning adventure. All the songs are sewn together into a
collage that recalls the goofy aplomb of the Dust Brothers or Ween. The maudlin family
organ cha-cha on "A Sonic Riot (in D Major)" is rudely displaced by "The
Aleph," a slam-bang variation on the theme from The Munsters. The quartet's
dynamic propensity for commingling outlying notes with inebriated stop-start patters
is supplemented by surreal, discordant interludes that tap everything from avant
hip-hop beats ("Squeak Honk Squawk") to cocktail psychedelia ("Mesmer").
By refusing to settle into a groove, the Adults have built an album that playfully
frustrates the time/space continuum in a manner that's both uncomfortable and fun.
When the music's over, it feels like you've just stepped out of a long movie.
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