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article by: Michael Canter

31 August 2011

CD Review - Dr. Pants "The Trip, Side 1: Illusion & Truth"

“Dr. Pants gained my love by introducing their drummer as Disco Pony. Their power-pop did even more to gain my love once they started singing about young men who love John Cusack (guilty), bearded hipsters (guilty), Firefly references (guilty), donuts (guilty) and ironic rapping (guilty). This band seems as if it were scientifically engineered for me to like it. Their power-pop tunes split the difference between Fountains of Wayne and Weezer, albeit with ironic rapping every now and then.”
–Stephen Carradini, OKGazette.com, 05/05/2011

Release Date: 04 June 2011

Genre: Nerd Power Groove Rock; Weezer & Beck made a baby with Phish and that baby is Dr. Pants.

Publisher: (C) 2011 David C Broyles

Label: Little Weasel Records

Time: 24m 15s

Review Date:31-August-2011

Format: MP3

JivePK™: http://jivepk.jivewired.com/drpants

Click image to purchase from Amazon

Track Listing:

01. Move So Slow 3:34
02. Gas Planet 5:24
03. Bowling With A Genius 3:24
04. Hipster Kids/Sexy Beards 3:23
05. Instant Insanity 3:42
06. Make The Midnight Hang 4:48


Dr. Pants have been going for quite a while now, managing to boast a pretty much flawless discography, and I think I have reviewed each of the previous releases up to this point. This is by far their best effort, but it is just a small piece of the puzzle. The band has decided to take on an immense project, the recording of twenty songs, by splitting it into four EP releases. There aren't many indie bands who decide to do the equivalent of a double album, but by splitting it into four subsets and releasing each as it's own entity, the band may be on to something. That is artistic vision defined. It's been said, "Always leave the audience wanting for more." Done. Well done.

“A full double album can be a little overwhelming to take in at once,” bandleader and vocalist David Broyles said. “For the moment, it seems like music is moving toward being digested in smaller chunks.”

“I liked the idea that the small chunk emphasizes you were listening to one side of the album, almost like a double-sided vinyl record,”
he said. “There’s a little regard for the now and what happened in the past.”

Before I get into specifics, let me tell you how absolutely addictive "The Trip, Side 1: Illusion & Truth" is. The song "Hipster Kids/Sexy Beards" is but one example. It's a song that will figuratively grab you, tie you down, beat you silly, hit on your sister, eat your lunch, steal your milk money and then have you begging for more. "Instant Insanity" provides more of the same. But while "Hipster/Sexy" does it with it's ironic and engaging lyrics, "Instant Insanity" has this amazing, ethereal bridge that is as scintillating as it is dreamy. The whole song has an almost late-1960s, electrified folk and psychedelic feel to it, reminiscent of bands like The Byrds and Fairport Convention, complete with a distorted, fuzzy guitar sound that is for lack of a better phrase, a total jam. At a time when artists are pioneering formats and new technologies, where uncharted genres emerge and transform and styles are ever-evolving, sometimes it’s nice to take a step back and remind yourself how equally powerful a retrospective nod to the past can be.

Moreover, "Instant Insanity" showcases the individual band members by allowing them to explore their musical passions within the band. Examples include stabs of grinding guitar, weaving contemporary bass, emotive vocals and incendiary layering. This can be attributed to the longevity of the band itself and its cognizance of what works in the studio as well as in post-production. Dr. Pants demonstrates a comfortable relationship, and this song may be the turning point where the band takes that next step from being a very good band to a stunningly great one.

Having successfully assimilated and channeled the late 1960s on "Instant Insanity," the band gets back to more of a traditional Dr. Pants sound on the songs "Gas Planet" and "Bowling With A Genius." Both are full of sweeping flourishes and the kind of intellectual irony that David C Broyles could probably patent by now. Propulsive, with rich arrangements and driving, persistent chord patterns, both are among Broyles' best work to date. On "Bowling With A Genius", the band again nails the bridge. "Gas Planet" has that howling bass line that we grew to know and love on "Bootyfest" and in fact provides the perfect segue to "The Trip" from the band's previous release, "The Cusack-Loggins EP" as well as a step forward musically.

"The Trip" is everything you'd expect and more from a band that describes it's musical style as Nerd Power Groove Rock. Does it get better than this? If so, as fans, we are in for a real treat, because we are still owed sides 2,3 and 4 of the aptly titled "The Trip." It will be interesting to see where David C Broyles et al take this project from here, and where the band takes us. So far, the first leg of the itinerary has been wonderfully enjoyable.

You can read further reviews of "The Trip, Side 1: Illusion & Truth" RIGHT HERE

David Broyles' quotes attributed to a CD Review of "The Trip, Side 1: Illusion & Truth" by Joshua Boydston of the Oklahoma Gazette

About The Band:

Dr. Pants is David Broyles, Dustin Ragland, Kenneth Murray and Aaron Vasquez. They are the purveyors of a style known as NERD POWER GROOVE ROCK; Weezer and Beck made a baby with Phish, and that baby is Dr. Pants. These four musicians currently find themselves in the midst of THE TRIP; a double album that they are releasing as four separate EPs. In other words, Dr. Pants are giving the world a double album, one side at a time. THE TRIP, SIDE 1: ILLUSION & TRUTH is set for release on June 7.

Dr. Pants is the brainchild of guitarist/vocalist/composer David Broyles. With a songwriting style that borrowed initially from the Beatles, R.E.M. and They Might Be Giants, David’s first musical ventures took shape in OKC in the early 90′s, when he started releasing self-produced cassettes and playing acoustic shows in local coffeehouses. After moving to Santa Fe, NM for college in 1993, David established himself in the Santa Fe coffeehouse scene.

After releasing three more self-produced cassettes in college, and returning to OKC in the fall of 1999, David became much more focused on working with a band and thus, Dr. Pants was born. FEEZLE DAY, the debut Dr. Pants CD, was unleashed in 2000. Towards the end of 2001, David put Dr. Pants on hiatus, since all the other original members had departed, but resurrected it in 2004. Recording of the album GARDENING IN A TORNADO commenced immediately, as well as a return to the stage with new members Kenneth Murray (guitar), Aaron Vasquez (bass) and Dustin Ragland (drums). Containing 13 songs that (mostly) found Broyles returning to his songwriting roots, the album was finally released in 2006. At the end of 2007, GARDENING was named one of Music Connection’s top 25 “demo” recordings of the year. Numerous tracks from the album were also licensed by MTV and featured during broadcasts of “Next” and “Sex…With Mom & Dad.” Most recently, however, many of the songs from GARDENING have been heard on the pop culture phenomenon known as “Jersey Shore.” The song “Donuts” was also heard on “CBS Sunday Morning.” In 2008, Dr. Pants released THE CUSACK-LOGGINS EP. Then, in 2010, the band became one of the first acts to have their music video shot entirely on the iPhone 4. Directed by Kyle Roberts, the resulting clip for “Sarsaparilla Girl” has garnered over 58,000 views on YouTube.

And now, in 2011, Dr. Pants has given us THE TRIP. THE TRIP is just that: a musical journey through two complete albums worth of music. “I set out to write music that told a story, or many stories, and truly reflected all the aspects of a life,” says Broyles. “Whether real or imaginary, fantastic or mundane, these are stories, emotions and songs that continue to fascinate, entertain and move me.”

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