October 16, 2002

Robot Monster Weekend "Funeral Candy"

For any reviewer, it's always a bit sad to receive a record with a note that informs you that the band no longer exists. When the band is super-talented or the record is awesome, it's even sadder. After all, what kind of tragedy is it when a band makes a great record yet didn't exist long enough afterwards to fully support the album, or to bring it to the attention of the world at large? At times, I'm tempted to say "why bother?" But if the record's good, then you should bother, because a good record is still a good record--regardless of the band's status. That being said, Dallas' Robot Monster Weekend recently called it a day, leaving behind an EP and this, their debut (and final) album.

It's really too bad that they didn't last long enough to enjoy the fruits of their labor, because Funeral Candy is pretty much an AWESOME little record. Sporting an admirable quick, to-the-point attitude, Robot Monster Weekend breeze through ten songs in little more than twenty minutes, and not one minute of Funeral Candy is fodder. With a punky new-wave heartbeat similar to Weezer, mixed with a little weirdness that reminds me of the late great Tripping Daisy, they really had the ability to write a snappy pop tune. Personally, I'm fond of "Love, Love, Love, Love" "King of the Monkey Bars" and "Plastic Rainbow." The one song on here that is really striking is "When I Die." It's a bit depressing, sad--yet it's poppy as all get-out, reminiscent of Dookie-era Green Day, and sounds like a rewrite of the obscure Jonathan Edwards hit "Sunshine"--color me impressed!

Yes, we should cry for Robot Monster Weekend. Their demise was simply too sudden, and was unfortunately caused by a lack of attention. Oh well, it's okay, they've left us a very pretty corpse to stare at, to listen to and to cry over. But don't cry--they wouldn't like that. They want you to bop around and have fun, and every time you hit the play button, it's a jubilation of the pop-rock variety. Who knows, from the rumors going around, all of these guys are still making music--they just chose to split up due to band members moving across the country, and didn't want to hurt anyone's feelings by keeping the band going. Awww, how nice! It makes the loss of this polite, friendly band even sadder, but hey..there's always this great little record. A nice document from a good band gone way too soon.

--Joseph Kyle

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