Monday, April 11, 2011

"F.M.S.T.A.T.I.C. That's the way we do it when we do it correctly"

Get, get, get around, I get around...Sorry, started channeling the Beach Boys there. That tends to happen when I listen to My Brain Says Stop, But My Heart Says Go the latest release by Thousand Foot Krutch frontman Trevor McNevan's side project fm static.

In the food world, it can be argued that the right side dish can make or break an entire meal, and in the music world, sometimes a side project make or break the reputation of the original band. Side projects, which started in the techno/industrial genre (where one or two musicians with synthesizers are the entire band and rarely, if ever tour) and are still abundant in that genre, have, like the remix, finally trickled down to the more mainstream genres. A side project allows members of one band to experiment with different styles without disrupting the harmony of the original band. In some cases the original and side project, with a few personnel adjustments maintain separate existences (ex. Underoath and The Almost), and in rare cases the side project overshadows the original band, and the original bands become afterthoughts to music history (ex. Skillet).

FM Static has, as its core, McNevan (Lead Vocals, Guitars) and Steve Augustine (Drums), both of whom are also part of TFK. Though they're billed as a two-piece band, two session players, bass guitar and second guitar, fill out the group. While a side project allows band members to experiment and play, sometimes the result is full of surprises. In the case of fm static, the main surprise is that they are able to successfully pull of such a radical musical transformation. While TFK is Hard Rock/Metal, FM Static is 60s/70s beach pop, quite like the Beach Boys. In fact one could mistake Cinnamon & Lipstick for a Beach Boys song.

On some albums it is extremely difficult to pick out favorites, because the entire CD is strong beginning to end. This is one of those albums. For a beach pop experience, I would single out  the aforementioned C&L or Last Train Home. If you like Cheerleader pop, I would recommend F.M.S.T.A.T.I.C. People who like Hip Hop should like the Title Track or (Hey) I want itSometime the most enjoyable thing is the ride itself, sometimes it's the stops, and in this case it's both, as well as the cool supercar on the cover.

My final verdict on the album is a near perfect 4.75 Emeralds. Maybe it's a cop-out, but right now I just can't bring myself to give a perfect 5 to a pop band, but regardless, it does guarantee it a spot among the 2011 Platinum Vinyl Award contenders, and it may be enough to put it among the final 7. There should be no disagreement. Both Your Brain and Your Heart should be screaming Hey, I Want It.