Take Over The Universe

Paul & The Kir

Independent release, 2013

http://www.paulandthekir.com

REVIEW BY: Benjamin Ray

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 11/08/2013

Comedy and rock haven't always mixed comfortably, devolving into the sort of novelty act that would appear on Dr. Demento or a Weird Al Yankovic album. Only on occasion has a band been both good and intentionally funny without being smarmy or self-congratulatory, as in the case of the Barenaked Ladies and Tenacious D.

Paul And The Kir thankfully fall into the latter camp, mixing jokey songs and asides with an upbeat college garage rock mentality. Paul Haasch plays guitar and does most of the singing, while Kirstin (The Kir) Sarfde handles drums and harmony/backup vocals. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Some of the song titles give the listener an idea of what to expect: "Zeke, The Vegan Zombie," "Two Wongs Don't Make A White," "Everybody Poops," but the whole album thankfully isn't that obvious. Much of the music is just goofy fun, from "We Are The Robots!" to the Ryan Reynolds/Ryan Gosling love letter "Ryan" to "Top Of My Head," while the breakup song "Hate U" is a clever twist on the usual anti-ex song (Sarfde also nails the voice and mannerisms of those ladies among us with no class in "Slutty Ho").

As expected, there's really nothing of lasting substance, although the self-deprecating "Skinny Boy" and the ode "Mrs. Thompson" are more subtle and, thus, come the closest. Musically, the disc seems inspired by the lighter side of ‘90s alternative (Everclear, Barenaked Ladies) and turn-of-the-century pop punk/garage rock like Sum 41 and the Hives, all given a peppy, poppy twist that makes everything fun and catchy. Imagine Tenacious D without the mugging and metal and you're close to the sound; it's the sort of thing that gets played on college radio stations, and has since the 1980s.

The band is on iTunes, Facebook and YouTube, which is a good place to see how one feels about them; if you like what you hear, the disc is on CD Baby, Bandcamp and at www.paulandthekir.com. Take Over The World is not a disc one will return to until they need a smile (although, at 30, I may be outside of the target audience at this point), but for that smile this does the trick as well as any Barenaked Ladies or Tenacious D track, and that's all the band is going for, it seems.

Rating: C+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated


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