The Persons – Attack the Scene

The Persons
Attack the Scene

These songs need a little explaining. Apparently, the first five tracks were written for a performance art piece. While it took guts to place these vocal-less tracks first, I don’t think they really give an accurate picture of what this band is all about. I’m going to talk about the other songs first, and if you pick this up, you should start here too.

As the accompanying notes tell me, tracks six to eight are songs that were written while the band was still called the Lainmeyers but never committed to tape, and here they appear freshly recorded. The vocal tone and melodies remind me of They Might Be Giants (especially on “Hair”), but the band has a wide range of influences that bring to mind bands as divergent as the Buzzcocks, Devo, and even Joe Jackson. (Check out “Asymmetry” if you don’t believe this can all be done in the course of one song!) However, there’s a distinct progressive rock-styled edge here in the use of keyboards and the occasionally dissonant parts. Bringing these songs back from the dead seems like a good idea.

The last track is called “The Credo,” a brand new one by the band now known as the Persons, and it makes the progressive edge even more apparent. The spastic percussion parts and odd off-beats played by the keyboards and guitar are complex and strange, certainly not your straight up rock number. The break-neck tempo brings an appealing punk and new wave energy to the number. Nice job, guys.

That brings us to the first five tracks, the “performance art” tracks. You might as well add “art rock” to that description too, because these vocal-less sound-scapes sound like goofy Yes outtakes. The songs are tight, energetic, and complex, but at the same time these vocal-less compositions are dead ringers for 70s prog-rock, and, as such, they’re nothing I’ll be revisiting. While I’ll bet the performance art piece would have been great to witness with this kick-ass band as the backing music, I think we kind of had to be there.