Joshua Baumgarten (vocals), Mishal Zeera (bass), Lars van der Weiden (drums) and Tom de Haan (sax/guitar) are The Irrational Library. The band recently released Everything at All Times and All Things at Once.
This album by all accounts felt punk rock to me in attitude. This reminded me of older punk bands like Minutemen that seemed to be pissed but also had a lot of levity. The music is great throughout but make no mistake about this, it is about Baumgarten’s expressive vocals which cover contemporary issues and much more. I found his spoken word/singing a perfect mix of anger, absurdity, humor and levity. There isn’t an ounce of pretension and it is all the better for it.
The album starts with “To Know That You Know Nothing” and that bass line had my number. They combine that with some slick percussion and horns and I was loving this groove. Baumgarten delivers the goods here. He’s all over the place sometimes singing sometimes speaking and all of it works.
Things get arguably even better with “Social Media Circle Jerk.” This is the first song where I actually laughed while listening. Baumgarten more or less tells everyone to fuck off and it’s beautiful. There are some clever anecdotes and no one seems to have a safe space here.
“Just Do It” was another song that made me laugh numerous times. When he says “What!?” I was dying. As the album continues that is a mix of absurdity, humor and so much more. “Palestinian Pulled Pork” is a perfect mix of non-sequiturs that David Lynch would be a fan of. There are some twists and turns as the album progresses. The jazzy and lounge like “Jager” and the closer “Everything at All Times and All Things at Once” might be standouts but I liked all the tracks.
The album is thirteen tracks but is only around 40 minutes which is good for a punk rock album. I became a big fan. Recommended.
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