May 6, 2010
2010 | Weemayk Music
The Antifolk group Elastic No-No Band is nothing if not prolific on Fustercluck!!!, their second studio album. Spread over two discs and over two hours, this record is a veritable smorgasbord of American folk and rock styles. These guys clearly love music and you’d be hard pressed to fault their energy or their execution. At its core, this record is simply a lot of fun. But it’s also a fairly extensive glimpse into the twisted mind of songwriter/singer Justin Remer (who writes for Jezebel Music) and a good platform for his off-the-wall sense of humor, as evidenced by the self-explanatory first single, “(The Shame About) Manboobs.”
Elastic No-No Band’s music, much like the other bands who make up the Antifolk scene that calls the East Village’s Sidewalk Café home, is quite possibly an acquired taste, but one well worth the plunge. The No-No Band is like the corn ice cream at Sundaes & Cones. It sounds like it shouldn’t work, but after you have the sample spoonful, you find yourself ordering a whole cone.
Disc one – let’s call it “Fuster” – opens with a goofy cut from an old scratchy fitness record, and that sets the tone. Fuster is a workout of sorts, an aerobic and bouncy journey through American music that hopscotches from banjo folk to trashy indie to old-school country…you get the picture. The crunchy fuzz of “The Color Machine” stands out on Fuster, a meatball of a track that mashes a stripped down Stooges groove with the dirty alt-rock of Lou Barlow’s Folk Implosion project. It’s catchy as hell and a bit of a departure from the rest of the record. Brook Pridemore (who also writes for Jezebel Music) co-wrote the track and sings lead, which isn’t as distracting as you’d think. since one of the album’s strengths is that the dozen or so guests who join in with the No-No Band blend in seamlessly. Debe Dalton, banjo player extraordinaire, is all over both discs and the album is all the better for it. Her banjo picking is timeless, as is her voice. Dalton and Remer’s duet of the old traditional song “There’s A Hole In the Bucket” is particularly funny and sweet.