Bang! Hark! There’s hammering, second degree burns and confetti, lots of confetti! Is this the rapture before me?! Probably!
Sorry. But this abrupt and paroxysmal approach to reviewing Alpha Male Tea Party’s sophomore album Droids seems rather fitting. There is no mucking about here; after a brief second of distorted guitar feedback, Droids bursts into life with the sweetly punishing ‘Happy As Larry, Larry Is Dead’. What follows is a cavalcade of tight and juicy party-riffs that the lads have been stockpiling since their Real Ale And Model Rail EP.
Alpha Male Tea Party are exactly what their name implies: a macho party-riff band. One can’t be reserved or apologetic when executing these types of riffs – they’re tough, pounding, and full of force. Any wavering of conviction would be easily sniffed out by the listener. Alpha Male Tea Party are more than confident in their role as curators of machismo: they play shows in translucent jumpsuits that show off their manly underpants; they revel in tongue in cheek song titles; they cross-dress in their music videos; they’re ready to put all dignity on the line. That takes mucho gutso.
And Droids reflects this musically. The odd-metered chord progressions, reinforced with POG octaves, rusty-toned bass, and beefy double-kick percussion, are captivating enough to make you want to pound your fists and sing along but are still substantially complex for you to grapple with them. I’ve found myself trying to hum the epic opening riff in ‘Happy As Larry, Larry Is Dead’ but, owing to its complexity, I’d usually forget the key notes of the riff and, instead, descend into a musical stupor and look like a douche. Happily.
Considering the ‘corporate’ theme of the album, its name, cover art, and track titles; it almost feels like the 10 energetic and hyperactive songs of Droids are a release from the ennui and the frustration of such modern banalities. Substance-wise, the album is a mixed bag of lollies, and within every lolly there is… a mixed bag of lollies. Each song is so jam-packed with gelatinous nuggets that it becomes a musical smorgasboard where the listener can nab their favourites and indulge.
I’m sure Larry is posthumously happy.
Progressive, disjointed riffs, party mix, wacky, math rock, instrumental