September 15, 2004

Otasco "this product is extremely delicious!"

I like a smarmy singer. There's nothing that beats confidence in a lead singer, because that smug attitude can often be the one factor that wins over the world. Nobody thinks that Mick Jagger, Roger Daltry, Noel Gallagher or Morrissey are technically great vocalists, but when it comes to pure attitude, all four of them are heavyweights that cannot be denied. When the musical genre is indiepop, it's attitude that often saves a band from mediocrity. Charm and charisma makes up for crappy playing, plain and simple.

That's why I like Otasco. It's the brainchild of Dag Gooch, who's also known as the editor of the rather funny and quite excellent 'zine Jetbunny. He's doing the lush pop lounge singer thing, and, to be honest...he's got more attitude than he does anything else. Normally, I blanche at musical projects of well-established music editors or famous writers, because these groups...well, I'm not going to start any 'zine wars here, so I'll just be generous and say that many of these groups just are not very good. We're about love here, so we're not gonna start no more Internet drama. (Besides, aren't music editor wars simply pathetic?)

I'm not going to hold that against Otasco, though, because there's some really funny stuff on This Product is Extremely Delicious!. Heck, just one glimpse at the title will tell you these guys are funny-bunnies. Gooch isn't the best vocalist, but he's got some attitude, and over the somewhat-lush and always poppy music, his pseudo-British vocal stylings-- a heavy-duty Morrissey-style croon that doesn't exactly fit with his limited skills--gives these songs a really nice touch. Personally, I love his ode to drinking, "Hoppy Drink" and I giggle when I hear "My Tastes or Changin and "Deshitterata," and the rest of the record is funny in that intellectual, English major kind of way. It's literate and smart in a way that Sarah Records should have been and that most indie-pop bands should be, too.

They won't win any awards for their sound, but Otasco steal all the gold stars for spunk and personality and wit. This Product Is Extremely Delicious! is fun and funny, and I think that's all Gooch and company were trying to do. Mission accomplished, guys! You've made me smile for a few minutes, and as I'm one of those dour types, that's a major accomplishment. (Funny videos, too!)

--Joseph Kyle

PS. You should check out Jetbunny, too. It's fun!

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