This Austin quintet is one amongst many, many groups continuing to ‘revive’ the post-punk movement. Well, I guess one could already assume post-punk has sufficiently been revived, thanks to Radio 4 et al, and This Microwave World is amongst the rapidly-growing second generation. Not that there’s anything wrong with coming in second.
Sean O’Neal knows how to yowl/sing/chant his way through a dance punk anthem, and likewise can produce the rapid, rhythmic guitar strokes that gets your hips shaking more than your devil horns pumping. Erin Mikulenka’s pulsating synths are always welcome, and Brandon Loe’s bass ensures that the ball keeps bouncing even though the lyrics are so repetitive you shout along after half a listen.
The lead off ‘December Was A Sham’ and the raucous blow out ‘You‘re A Riot’ are prime examples of what the band is capable of – energetic, honest, blasts of adrenaline and groove that burst a vein in your head as easily as it shakes the dirt off a dance club wall. However, while the album starts off strong it seems to run out of steam halfway through. More predictable Gang Of Four homages that offer only miniscule traces of variety. ‘She’s Insecure’ has potential to please but is a tad drawn out. To a casual listener the riff for ‘Cardinal Sin’ sounds only one chord different than a riff that appears earlier in the disc. The neat bass line that opens ‘Flip It To The B-Side’ is enough to hook you back into toe-tapping mode but by this time you’ve already had your fill.
This Microwave World has released 3 EP’s before this full length, and it would probably benefit them to do so again in the future. They’ve definitely got the chops to create a quick burst of catchy post-punk, but I’d just as well take the 4 great tracks (mind you, most bands would kill to have 4 great songs period) and leave the filler behind.
-Mark Hughson 8/7/05