199. Custard – “Wisenheimer”

I was starting to question the veracity of much-feared ‘poor second album’ stereotype. Alas this effort from the mighty Brisbane powerpoppers falls squarely into that category.

Album Cover Custard WisenheimerIndeed, this CD is a certain sub-species of the ‘Opus disappointica’ phenomenon.  Here we see a cavernous gap between the better tracks and the lesser.  The “filler” on here does not warrant such an ambivalent moniker – said tracks here should be called “Brussel sprouts”, “dog turds” or “Alexander Downer”.

The very best tunes on here are about as poppy, catchy and fun as this band ever produced. 

Apartment is an insanely infectious little ditty (that sounds surprisingly like You Am I). Lucky Star delivers on that early-90s Boston sound. Venus Flytrap and Lightening Bug throws doo-wop, country-punk and a little bit extra in the pot and comes up with quite an intoxicating brew.  Leisuremaster is straight out of Pavement 101, laying down a very chilled vocal over slide guitar and cymbals and brush rhythms.

I can’t help but feel the Pavement-influence is what brings this album down.  Too often the tracks capture only a portion of said band’s approach but without the necessary imagination or flair (Bring it On is a prime example). Other tracks here are just throwaway twaddle.

File under: None the wiser

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