In their fourth album Dingbats, released back in February (on Wild Kindness and Stuff Records), Casper & The Cookies (from Athens, Georgia) seem to be assessing the passage of time and their own history, looking back over a particular course of events both musically and lyrically. Could the title be self-criticism at a lifetime of poor choices? Or an assessment of others? Whatever, it’s a wild ride of musical styles, from jaded pop intelligentsia (“Improvvisamente Ardito”) to a glam-goth cabaret ditty about popping speed (“Amphetamines”) to a sweet psychotic tale about a love obsession (“Omni”) to a lovely English folk ballad about a murder (“White Noise”).
Jason NeSmith (vocals/guitar/keys), Kay Stanton (bass/vocals/keys), AJ Griffin (vocals/keys) and Gregory Sanders (drums) are currently in and/or have traveled through an impressive lineage — Of Montreal, Olivia Tremor Control, The New Sound of Numbers and Supercluster. They’ve toured with The Apples in Stereo, were Daniel Johnson’s backing band and opened for the B-52s’ 34th anniversary show in Athens.
Their eerie contemplation about touring life, “Lemon Horses,” reads like a hazy, confusing dream, at some uneasy place between wakefulness and sleep. They filmed what I can only call a concept video, and one that gave me a Twin Peaks queasiness, I might add.
The story ends with as much uncertainty as it begins. No answers, only inquiry. Lusciously orchestrated piano and strings makes the journey a good deal more pleasant.
“I want to make a jumbo sign
I want to take that sign downtown
I want to shake my sign around
It says: NO ONE KNOWS
NO ONE REALLY KNOWS ANYTHING.”
– When the Moon Was in Command
4/3 – Carrboro, NC – The Station
4/4 – Rehoboth Beach, DE – Dogfish Head Brewpub
4/5 – New York, NY – Cake Shop
4/8 – Allston, MA – O’Brien’s Pub
4/10 – Philadelphia, PA – The Overlook (at 3rd & Girard)
4/12 – Roanoke, VA – 501 speakeasy