OWTK Kindie Album Reviews

The Bazillions Heads or Tales CD Mini Review

Bazillions Heads or Tales Album Cover


It’s difficult, I know. It can be difficult to read some of my words about kid’s musicians here on OWTK and really get a feel for what the music sounds like, and most importantly, to determine whether you and your kids will dig it. I don’t usually pull in the names of mainstream bands to make it easier for you, there is no (or very little of) if you like X then you’ll love Y on this site. Well, I’m going to do it here, but don’t go getting all used to it.

Remember the mid-90’s? I do, that was the era of my youth and the music of that decade, while not always resonating with me today, is still crisp and clear in my mind. I can picture the videos (120 Minutes with Matt Pinfield!), the concerts (Foo Fighters & Shudder To Think at the Troc in Philly, to name one), and the CDs bought at Wall To Wall Sound & Video, Sam Goody and other spots in and out of suburban malls. One of the acts I really liked back then was Matthew Sweet. Sonically, vocally, lyrically, follically (his hair, that’s right) — he fascinated me for a few album stretch there in the early-to-mid-1990’s. You may remember his huge hit “Girlfriend“…man that was a great song.

(this anime video for “Girlfriend” is terrific, but may or may not be good for your kids)

Anyway, the kindie music world has a fair amount of power alt/rock bands but the one on the scene that carries forth the sonic crunchiness, killer pop hooks, and slightly-nasally vocal clarity of Mr. Sweet are The Bazillions.  Now, fans of my monthly music podcast will already be familiar with the Minnesota band’s wall-of-sound-lite approach to music making for families as I played a pair of tracks from their new albums Heads or Tales over the past two episodes. The album is packed with punchy, dense, clever tunes heavy on guitar and that Sweet voice. The Bazillions make some of the catchiest kindie, with an emphasis on the indie, rock on this or that side of the Mississippi.

“Silent E” is a clever 3 minutes of spelling wordplay and “Similes and Metaphors” will finally get you sorted on the differences between those two grammatical terms.  The best two cuts, and the two I presented on the podcast, are the tasty “Candy Garden” which is just about the catchiest and most delicious thing I’ve heard in months and is also the song I wake up singing most days this year, and “Out Of The Box”, a song that will make the frustration of toy packaging more hilarious the next time you struggle with the tape, twist ties, and those tiny translucent plastic bands that seem to be popular with the sadistic toy industry these days. If you listen to that last one and don’t come away muttering “hit it with rocks” to yourself, well, I just don’t know what to say. And if you do start sing/saying that lyric, make sure you keep it to yourself while in public, ’cause you may freak some people out, especially if you happen to be carrying a rock or two around with you.

If you are looking for some strong driving music for your family’s next road trip or 10-minute trek to school in the morning, Heads or Tales is the disc you want right now.

Now to wipe the cobwebs off those Matthew Sweet records…

*OWTK received a copy of Heads or Tales for review consideration. The opinions above are honest and unbiased, as always.

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