Appetite for Redaction
These nine new songs, written over the past year by Michael Mullen and Adam Klein, reflect the baitand- switch confusion of the last decade's wars on information, on Iraq, Afghanistan, Wikileaks, labor unions, history, and science. Naturally, these are pop gems that sparkle with enthusiasm, if not hysteria. For this record, The Size Queens consist of the usual suspects: Tim Mooney [formerly of American Music Club and The Toiling Midgets: production, drums, bass, guitar]; Carlos Forster [formerly of For Stars, now a solo artist whose album "Family Trees" was just released on Hush Records: backing vocals]; Mike Carnahan [of The Green Door: bass, guitar]; John Murry [of Bob Frank and John Murry fame: guitar]; Danny Pearson [former bass player of American Music Club: guitar] Michael Mullen [of the solo project Pocket Shelley: piano, keyboards] and Adam Klein [author of "Tiny Ladies" and "The Medicine Burns;" vocals]. "Appetite for Redaction" is loosely strung together by narratives that might have been (and probably were) picked up by surveillance. New York City and Kabul are interchangeable and abstracted as though observed by a drone. In each city, life persists with minesweepers, insurgents, former terrorists, tired revolutionaries, sad activists, trafficked men and women - most trying to maintain their apartments or jobs at any cost, or to make things seem normal. One of the indirect consequences of this ten-year war has been singer Adam Klein's assistant professorship at The American University of Afghanistan. (Proof that there really are jobs out there if you look for them!) Vaguely influenced by the likes of John Cale and Big Star, "Appetite For Redaction" sounds like celestially decaying space junk, Vic Chesnutt ranting at the gates of St. Peter, and Nina Simone in a knife fight on an elevator. It sounds like robots trying to articulate without code and Kim Jong Il trying on sunglasses at a Walgreens. It sounds like screeching trains in rain-soaked tunnels, and quarters and pocket lint sorted in Coin Star machines. It sounds like the death rattle of liberal America in a downgraded democracy. The saddest things do come back, and The Size Queens have done so, too. While their new record is plaintive, full of desperate late-night outings, and the thunder of distant or impending violence, it also features some of the band's most heartbreakingly concise pop melodies yet. A limited edition of 25 disks will be packaged within a 36-page (virtually) "leak proof," (somewhat) "confidential" dossier conceptualized by Adam Klein and Chuck Mobley, and signed by songwriters Klein/Mullen. This dossier includes lyrics and original archival, (mostly) redacted documents tracing the activities of the band since their 2005 recording of "Is It In Yet?" This new release and it's companion disk and dossier are available alongside The Size Queens' oeuvre.