Pensantos Review: The Teen Noise-Pop Virus
These crazy Californians have complied an album of songs that is truly profound and unique –but wait, that’s not what they intended to do? Poptastic’s mission statement (as found on their Myspace page): ‘Poptastic was created for the sole purpose of sampling itself into a collage—a version of a version of something unknown and inaccessible’–and the only way you’ll know how absolutely true this statement is would be to listen to the train wreck of irreverent sounds found in Teen-Pop-Noise Virus.
The album is rank with irony all the way from the title of the album straight to the actual substance of each song. Irony is a dish best served in Literature. But people still attempt to get away with it in art, music and fashion –some succeed, most do not. When will the Irony Age in pop culture end? I know it won’t end with Poptastic but eventually people will once again demand their music to be reverent, sincere and substantial. Besides all that nonsense –the album actually is mildly entertaining but just when you start to open yourself up to this experience, the bottom falls out of the song (see ‘Hold Me’) and your left holding one shoe in your hand searching for words to describe your disappointment. There could possibly be a Lisa Loeb sample in ‘I Think of You’ but it’s hard to tell because it is so complexly layered and lined with samples exploding into all oddities of sound; it’s hard to make any one thing out at any one time. And then there’s ‘Torn Photo and a Broken Heart’ which is roughly a ten-minute opus with five minutes or so of white noise fading in and out (and in and out) just long enough to make you want to throw your ipod in the Chicago River. Perhaps this is the desired effect? Although I do believe that Poptasic crafted a stylishly clever jab at the pop music they’re so desperately making fun of –they did it in such an unattainable, indigestible format rendering it impossible to enjoy. But then again, that was the intended purpose all along –in essence, to create a shitty album that no one wants to listen to… Mission Accomplished!
The concept of Poptastic, simply put, is that ‘I-will-make-fun-of-industry-standards-by-ironically-going-way-over-the-top’ effect (see Reggie and the Full Effect). The musical backbone of Poptastic is equivalent to Trent Reznor taking a Moog and beating the shit out of the guy from Girl Talk while God Speed You Black Emperor joins in with a Canadian circle-jerk–‘Ladies and gentlemen, Teen-Pop-Noise Virus –enjoy’.