You Will Go To A Party Where Strange Customs Prevail by Pants & the Family is supposed to be a “Rock Opera” about three people the PREACHER, the PARTY GUY and the POOR GIRL—who meet and go to a party in a cornfield. At the party some sort of being fuses the three into a single person. If this information wasn’t on their Bandcamp page I wouldn’t have in a million years figured out that there was a narrative with these songs. There are no lyrics to be found anywhere and half the time I was desperately trying to understand what was being said. Suffice it to say precise narratives that demand your attention to the lyrics like this rarely work with albums and this is no exception. Even though the narrative is marginal at best the album has some other redeeming qualities. Those being that the band isn't afraid to get weird and most of the songs sound like a vacuous karaoke session that you overheard in the other room while coming off a bad acid trip.
Take for instance the first song “Lots of $ for Jesus, Not Much for Me.” The song is a dissonant pop song that has a wonky country vibe. I have no idea what the singer was saying. There were words I picked up like “cashew” and he sung about his mother and brother at points. I surmise this might have been an introduction to the Preacher character.
The vocals on “Who Put the Holes in Mr. Wumpy?” have a Jim Morrison-esque bluesy vibe that gets mixed with flange-y synths and some decent funk bass. Towards the end of the song a female voice starts speaking and telling a story that makes about much sense as a David Lynch movie or the Eric Andre Show. “Uncle Charlie's Lap” has a decent groove and the band sounds like they are playing in the late night lounge in the seventh level of hell. The band gets sloppy - possibly on purpose - as the bass and organ start dancing around a myriad of notes.
As the album progresses the novelty of the absurd starts to wear off by the time you reach the end but there are still some inspired moments. “You Will Go to a Party Where Strange Customs Prevail” is a seven-plus-minute psychedelic nightmare circus while “Why Drive When You Can Stay at Home” slowly ascends into apprehension.
Pretentious, indulgent, creative, artistic and off the beaten path are all ways you can describe Pants & the Family. The band could be some kind of Ariel Pink, Flaming Lips hybrid if they get better at writing songs and improve the recording quality.
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