The Tattle Tales
…Get Snappy (2003, Bling Bling Rex)
Downstate NY upstarts the The Tattle Tales are the brainchild of Christian Tattle Tale, whose musical prowess is as tight and clean-cut as his material is stereotypical – it’s all girls, all the time. It’s poppy punk down to the marrow. It’s pretty good stuff.
At times we’re treated with Weezer-influenced nuggets and something akin to pre-Dookie Green Day fronted by an immature Elvis Costello. ‘Give Me An A For Ashley’, ‘Show Me’, and ‘It’s Not So Easy’ are radio-ready gems, bursting with catchy hooks and romance-drenched lyrics, anxiously awaiting to be put on a crush’s mixtape or written/typed in a teenager’s diary. Other times we’re raising an eyebrow at arena-rock riffs (‘Please Sign Here’ reminds me of Dirt Bike Annie’s cover of the 80’s pop metal classic ‘The Warrior’) and the over-the-top blistering guitar licks of ‘You And A Grammy’.
All 9 songs are very solid, fleshed out in fine fashion with a spot-on rhythm section and sprinkles of tasty Moog action. Christian has a great pop punk voice, a perfect mixture of sugar-sweet pop idol and snotty man-child. However, at times we’re made aware of his shortcomings in the delivery department. Some songs could have benefited with a little vocal variety – a scream here, a quieter dynamic there, but it’s not in the cards. No matter the tone, rhythm, or content of the song, each lyric is belted out like a brown-noser in a 6th grade chorus.
If you’re itching for s’more fuzz pop in your diet, I’d have no qualms prescribing …Get Snappy. While not entirely intoxicating, it is more-or-less a satisfying listen – nothing particularly new but still head and shoulders above the slick, 3rd wave mainstream power pop garbage Rivers Cuomo inadvertently inspired when he picked up a guitar in his garage some years ago.
-Mark Hughson 8/7/05