On their sophomore record Fergus and Geronimo, aka Andrew Savage and Jason Kelly, continue their penchant for the audio exploration of various genres. Funky Was the State of Affairs is a concept record, of sorts. Not that I can quite work out the concept, I just know there are aliens, technology and over-consumption in there.
After the 25 second intro of interference and muffled voices that is Planet Earth is Pregnant for the 5th Time, No Parties leads the way, with its motorik rhythm and punk/post-punk attitude. Fergus and Geronimo are American, so we know full well its 70’s punk English accent is a fake, but it kinda fits the bill.
I’ll skip the various interludes of voices and sounds, one of which includes a girl seeking boys whose heads aren’t glued to their laptop screens – ouch! That’s cutting the odds considerably.
Roman Numerals / Wiretapping Muzak I rumbles again with a post-punk twitch, the yelping vocals of our protagonists as they list obscurities is amusing, and I like the screaming sax solo, but as a song it’s just a riff to soundtrack the duo’s leftfield antics.
OK I know I said I was going to skip the various interludes but after being subjected to The Uncanny Valley and its two minutes plus of walkie talkie noise I can’t – it just feels like a waste of space. Especially when it’s followed by a Madlib styled, Quasimoto-pitched voice talking across a lounging jazz beat on Earthling Women. It’s unrelated to what is essentially a collection of high-wired pop songs surviving off their wits and energy.
That said I’m liking the funk wig out in the final two tracks – and the other real songs stranded within the sea of interludes are quite fun too. And hey I’m all for albums that need to be listened to as albums, I’m just feeling the balance is a little off on this one.