I wasn’t sure what to expect when scrutinizing the Bandcamp page of Professor Caffeine & the Insecurities. The band members Paul Gaughran, Dan Smith, Dennis Bere, Jesse Stiglich and Derek Tanch are noted for the instruments they play and how much yelling they contribute. Funny, cute and true. They also mention the words pop, punk and emo so I was thinking they veered towards Sum 41 or Blink 182. My expectations were thoroughly blown away when I played Comic Book ep. Simply put this is one of the most explosive, cathartic and dynamic bands I have heard in quite some time. The band crams in prog rock with anthemic choruses and enough emotion that it bursts through your speaker. This is the type music that can’t be ignored even at soft volumes.
Let’s get a couple of things out of the way. Prog rock demands technically proficient musicians to pull shifts in time, fills and more that an amateur couldn't pull off. Luckily, the entire band is completely in the pocket throughout the duration of these five songs and might make you go back to the drawing board when considering your own skills.
I’m honestly not sure what I’m impressed by - the cascading vocal harmonies or the instrumentation. In the end it doesn’t matter because the sometimes chaotic combination ends up meshing into a single block of undeniable energy.
The EP has a theme of crime fighting superheroes but in all honesty they could have been singing about what they had last night for dinner and I still would have felt the same way. The album starts off with “My Date with Anna Marie was Emotionally and Physically Exhausting.” It begins simple enough with piano, sparse percussion and excellent vocals. The vocalist sings, “We sat parallel the window / Preparing for the verbal assault / A square in the table cloth for each day we didn't talk.“ Out of nowhere the song bombards with Bohemian Rhapsody like vocals and a jagged guitar riff. My mind was thoroughly blown and I wasn’t sure what else to do except to go along for the ride. The band gets in and out quickly while never fixating on any lulls.
“Ever Since that Car Accident Steve Sure has Been Acting Strange” doesn’t waste any time getting ramped up with vertigo inducing guitar patterns and another singer. The song reaches peaks with blood curdling screams that make most pop punk seem like elevator music.
The band continues to melt your face off with “HANK PYM!!! (why you gotta be so small?).” Did you hear those ridiculous guitar fills and different vocals harmonies on almost every measure? The band doesn't disappoint with “An Evening with Victor Fries After A Decade of Getting the Cold Shoulder” and “You're my Mary Jane, not my Gwen Stacy (I won't accidentally kill you).”
Quite frankly Professor Caffeine & the Insecurities make a lot of other bands seems lazy and snooze worthy. This is energy in motion and the fact that this band is relatively unknown when there are far more inferior bands that you could fit into a similar genre are selling out venues is frustrating is say the least. This is grade A music. Highly recommended.
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