LandSpeedRecord! – Good Housekeeping

Good Housekeeping

Although a favorite of other DOA writers for some time, this is my first real exposure to Landspeedrecord! and their brand of quirky rock. My first thought is that this Baltimore, Maryland band represents, in all the best ways, everything I loved about the Archers of Loaf without totally copping that band’s sound. The music is quirky in structure as well as theme, taking great glorification in songs about Paxil, Alicia Silverstone, interoffice copulation, and other pressing topics. And with singer Charley Jamison’s semi-gruff voice, the band at times even sounds similar to old Archers of Loaf, modernized for the new millennium and given a dose of punk-rock sensibility and modern indie-rock instrumentation.
Good Housekeeping is an interesting release, compiling eight “new” songs and 11 other tracks from the band’s earlier releases that appear to be tragically out of print. For the uninitiated such as myself, it’s the perfect introduction to this highly prolific band even while it will be necessary for the longtime fans, if only for those eight new songs. Those tracks – recorded in part for the band’s short full-length album Corporate Secret and an Ambiguous City compilation and finished for this release – are stellar examples of the band’s sound, but it’s their older songs, dating back to the mid-90s, that are my personal favorites.
Clearly the new ones show a band at the top of their game, playing tighter and with better production, and song titles like “The Paxil Song” and “Robotic Pornographic Queen” are pretty entertaining alone. My favorites, though, are the more entertaining songs. “Accident” is almost irresistibly catchy, with hand-claps and an almost 80s-style vibe that belies the darker tone. And “Alicia Silverstone Shame Spiral,” with its uproarious, fast-paced romp of a rhythm, is ridiculously fun.
There’s a host of strong material from the band’s previous releases as well. The basslines on “Mission From God” are stellar, and the jangly guitar gives me the feel of classic mid-90s alt-rock. “Let the Exorcism Begin” is fun in a dark sort of way, with its combination of keyboards and guitars. “The Bleeding Heart of Cement” is a good example of Jamison’s sung/story-telling style of singing with some strong guitarwork and a plodding mood. My favorite songs, though, are some of their older songs. “Dead Girlfriend” is just a riot, with fantastic lyrics and some great guitarwork. “Kilki,” too, has a dark, apocalyptic theme, but the thick bass and gruff approach makes this one of my favorite songs.
Landspeedrecord! has clearly been consistent throughout their career, just adding to their ability while retaining their quirky song structures and themes. Their music continues to be up-tempo, aggressive, and catchy. Fans of the band will likely have many of these songs but will require the album for the new tracks, but Good Housekeeping functions best as an introduction to this Baltimore band. Although 19 songs and 60 minutes can be a bit overbearing, Good Housekeeping is a good listen.