Erase | They Might Be Giants

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Ian Lovdahl

Pay your respects, student folk, the rulers of college alternative have returned to the kingdom.

They Might Be Giants, originally a trio of two Johns and a drum machine, rocked the ears of post-secondary, tuition paying kids back in the day with cult hits like “Birdhouse in Your Soul”, “Istanbul (Not Constantinople), and the theme song to Malcolm in the Middle, “Boss of Me”. While they have ditched the drum machine, the Johns Linnel and Flansburgh continue to write dynamic, irreverent, and often hilarious alternative music.

Last January, TMBG announced a revival of their Dial-A-Song project, a pre-internet file sharing service where listeners could call a voicemail machine and hear a recording of the band’s new songs. This time around, the Johns are writing a new song every week and posting it for free online with the intent of having 52 new tracks by 2016. In late April, the band released their 17th album, Glean, which contains the first 15 songs of the new Dial-A-Song project.

The first track off Glean is the exuberant “Erase”, a poppy return to form for TMBG. In his trademark nasal vocal delivery, Linnel sings about relationships and love; however, a cursory glance at the band’s prolific catalog reveals lyrical tones of cynicism, sarcasm, and acerbic wit. While the song’s content is certainly tongue-in-cheek, the warmth of TMBG’s instrumental composition makes “Erase” a great pop single.

They Might Be Giants may not be the most serious band in the world, but so long as the two Johns keep experimenting and dropping new music, they are certainly one of the best.