Anyway, after overloading them with a typically excessive 8 CDs, I got my payback Saturday night in the form of Like the Idea by Think Tree. Recorded in 1992 and released on Caroline, this CD was the brainchild of some guys that rum_holiday knew back in her Boston days.
And the "Smash or Trash" verdict is...
It's definitely a product of its era -- the chunky synths and fat drum-machine beats mark it as something that you'd know was recorded in the late '80s or early '90s even if there was no such thing as the AMG Guide. However, it's a terrific record -- the singer's got a compelling voice with a lot of range and a keen estimation of the "London-by-way-of-old-Jam-records" delivery of GBV's Bob Pollard. The band is tight and has an exceptional way with hooks, often delivered with popping, rolling analog synths a la Oingo Boingo, and the lyrics verge between too clever and just clever enough to good effect.
If they'd had a good contract and promoters, there's no reason the stunning leadoff track, "Monday A.M. First Thing", shouldn't have been a huge, huge hit. It's funny, energetic, clever, raucous and catchy as hell. The rest of the CD is quite good as well, though I haven't given it its due yet because I'm so enamored of the first song.
Anyway, thanks, rum_holiday! You a winnah!