Budapest One, This town just gave you a dreamer.

Budapest One, <em>This town just gave you a dreamer.</em>

You want unctuous? Budapest One can give you unctuous in spades. The four-piece band kicks off This town just gave you a dreamer. with “Signal For The Assassins,” which sounds like the sleaziest accountant in town singing “Besame Mucho” at the bar from Ally McBeal, and it all goes downhill from there. With a voice like a cross between Elvis Costello and the Crash Test Dummies’ Brad Roberts, leader Keith Killoren smarms his way into your eardrums as the rest of the guys try to be some sort of gypsy E Street Band. It’s so over the top that it’s easy to peg Budapest One as parody, but the jokes not only aren’t funny, they aren’t jokes; the rant in the middle of “Apple In Her Mouth,” for instance, practically dares you to recoil from its own self-satisfied emptiness (the possibility that it’s intended seriously, on the other hand, would make the band sexist beyond all comprehension). That same hollowness can be found in “The ‘Bully’ Song,” which makes the assumption that if you write about an encounter with the devil and mention a character named Moses Jones as often as possible, you’ll end up tapping into some age-old mythopoeic archetype instead of simply being smug. Like George Constanza, Budapest One expends a lot of energy in trying to disguise how lazy it is, and in any other context, the reasonably tuneful “Some Sweet Day” could make a case for sticking in your head, but the company it keeps damages its chances for respectability. The whole thing comes on like Camper Van Beethoven playing Armed Forces while delivering the greasiest ineffective pick-up line you’ve ever had to shower yourself off after hearing.

(Beatville Records -- P.O. Box 42462, Washington, DC. 20015; http://www.beatville.com/; NONE)
BUY ME: Amazon

Review by . Review posted Tuesday, March 1st, 2005. Filed under Reviews.

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