Cafeteria Dance Fever, Danceology
When you have a band named Cafeteria Dance Fever, you set a level of certain amount of energy for which your band must contribute to its songs. You simply cannot have a band named Cafeteria Dance Fever and have the songs come off as something you’d sleep through. This, for Cafeteria Dance Fever, is not a problem.
The other factor you might notice right away with these songs is that many of them have those seemingly over-clever titles. Anything from “Jonathan Taylor Thomas is Too Good to be True” to “A Rainbow that Shoots Nunchuks at People” will make you think that perhaps this band has used up all of its wit on these laughable titles, and when you actually hear the songs, they might not deliver. This, again, is not a problem for this band.
When I say these twenty-four songs compose an album known as Danceology, what I really mean is that up until now, all of Cafeteria Dance Fever’s music has been released sparingly on vinyl. This is the first time we have a group of songs collected and put onto one album — a CD — for those who are too cool for vinyl.
If nothing else, this collection of songs has convinced me to track down any and all CDF records I can get my hands on because, yes, I do in fact have a very select — almost elite — record collection.
But, what? I want to buy these songs and more on vinyl, but I haven’t really told you anything about them and how they sound yet, have I? I suppose you might want to know about that before you are also persuaded to even attempt to listen to these songs.
First off, CDF can be defined in several categories at the same time, but they all kind of fall into relative neighbor genres anyway. There is a distorted, lo-fi sound to the music that is something between punk, surf, and garage rock. Again, not all of the same genres, but still things that can be closely related. They have a distorted synth that can make them sound like The Anniversary in fast motion, but overall they still have that punk rock mentality of bands like Sex Pistols and Guttermouth.
Though there are primarily male vocals, we often have female backing vocals, as well. It’s not what you’re thinking, in that way where guys and gals trade off vocals equally, it’s just a backing thing at most. (No Rainer Maria comparisons here.)
On top of all of this, you have to understand now that most of these songs are around a minute long. Sure, one is nearly two minutes and another is almost three minutes, but they mostly stick to being around the minute mark. For having that fast-paced punk rock/surf/garage sound, it fits perfectly to have shorter songs. Also, it just means that you can put this album on repeat and listen to it through more times.
The lyrical content of this album is what you would expect it to be, based on the song titles. You know how I mentioned before that they have a song with Jonathan Taylor Thomas in the title? Yeah, that’s not just a cheap ploy for a clever title. The song is actually about him being too good to be true, complete with him being sung to as JTT. It’s pretty wild, and at first it can seem funny, but once that wears off and you stop laughing at it, you’ll just appreciate the musical qualities of the song.
Danceology is my first exposure to the band Cafeteria Dance Fever, but it certainly will not be my last. Any time I press “Play” for the first time on an album I haven’t heard before, I’m kind of anxious as to what it’s going to sound like. It usually takes some getting used to, like the way you would gradually get into a pool or hot tub. But with this particular selection of music, they had me sucked in from the first note. This is not an experience to be missed.