Taking the Fly – Love Me

Taking the Fly is what I imagine would happen if you put together a few of the people from the “musicians available” adds in your local alt-weekly. You can tell that they take their music seriously, practice often, have years of experience, are ready to tour, free of tweakers and rednecks, etc. The thing is (at least to my jaded ears), such strengths are their weaknesses. It’s not that the band is terrible or anything, in fact they are competent musicians and reasonably talented songwriters in a teenbeat kind of way … it’s just the derivative or mediocre aspects of the band are underlined by their very professionalism. You get the feeling that the band is taking themselves too seriously, when really they are just another bunch of guys playing music together. Were they all 14 years old, there might be some novelty to their approach, as the sense of potential would be much greater. As it stands, the group doesn’t seem very capable of significant growth.

“Love Me” captures the band sounding like a 60s garage band – albeit with modern production values. The fuzz guitar, repetitive hooks, and simplistic lyrics recall an era of American mod-bands that would produce perhaps one decent but marginialized single and then fizzle into the obscurity of day-jobs, family life, and suburbia. The only thing to distinguish “Love Me” from its brethren is the somewhat inventive vocal melody in the verse, which dissolves into a poppy (and with repeat listening, grating) chorus. When we reach the bridge, a vocal comparison is likely to crystallize for many listeners as the singer drops down to a more bass-tones in order to build back up to his wispy alto. He sounds uncannily like a less enthusiastic (or perhaps less sincere) Edward Kowalczyk (Live). Unlike other songs, this one does not improve with repetition, and with the poor lyrics (and less than convincing performance of said lyrics) in fact seems to grow sour and less appetizing the more one plays the single.

I don’t see this band as “up and coming,” and portraying them as such would be disingenuous. Taking the Fly is more the kind of band that you wouldn’t be too embarrassed to have your Dad play in at your wedding.