The Presidents of the USA
II


4.0
excellent

Review

by Pechorin USER (23 Reviews)
April 22nd, 2006 | 13 replies | 4,680 views


Release Date: 1996 | Tracklist


5 of 5 thought this review was well written

Seattle is famous worldwide for its music scene in the early 1990's. Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and Soundgarden are among the famous acts the region has produced. However, by 1994, the scene would come crashing down with the downfall of the area's anti-leader, Kurt Cobain. The Seattle scene was all but lost until one band changed it all.Okay, maybe the Presidents of the United States of America didn't really save the Seattle scene. However, what they did was inject a fresh sound into the sombre alternative rock of the nineties.

Blending strange, nonsensical lyrics with simple, yet adequate instruments, the Presidents were the anti-rock band. The only thing that they seemed serious about was kidding around. With the two-string basitar, three string-guitbass, and the no-string drums, it was easy to scoff at the Presidents. However, the fact remains that despite the silliness, the trio of Chris Ballew, Dave Dederer, and Jason Finn were still accomplished musicians.

The release of the self-titled album in 1994 reached some height, mainly as a novelty act. The band scored some minor hits in the forms of Lump and Peaches. Sadly, by 1996, most of the world really didn't care about the band anymore. II was often called an old joke that wouldn't die by the critics, and it sadly faded into obscurity. About seven years later, a guy was walking through a Wherehouse Music near Atlanta, Georgia and stumbled upon the aforementioned album. It was used, and since it only cost four dollars, the guy bought it on a whim.

As you can probably tell, that guy was me. I had previously only heard of the band from the song Lump, and since I liked it, I figured I'd give II a shot. From the first listen, I was pleasantly surprised. While the music isn't the most complicated, the Presidents can write one Hell of a catchy song. And contrary to popular belief, the guys are very good instrumentalists for what they do. I especially notice Jason Finn's drumming -- He could easily be considered one of the most underrated drummers of the nineties. Regardless, though, if you were looking to hear some catchy music that doesn't really depend on complexity, this is the perfect album to purchase.

Even though it never received the critical acclaim of its predecessor, II still has some great songs. There is the They Might Be Giants tribute Volcano, an ode to Mount Saint Helens. Then there's the song about smashing toy cars, Mach 5 (The video for this song is one of the funniest ever. I highly suggest finding it). Twig is a great Presidents song with hilarious guitar noises throughout and an amusing solo towards the end. Froggie blends jazz and punk for a unique experience. Then there is the group's magnum opus in the form of Puffy Little Shoes. All of these songs plus nine more tracks that are all of listening quality make this a well-rounded album.

The album is far from perfect. Perhaps the biggest problem is the fact that many people think that if you have heard one Presidents song you've heard them all. While a lot of the songs are similar, if you were a fan of the first album, this is a great purchase. If, however, you don't want catchy music that doesn't take itself seriously, I suggest you avoid this album. Yes it is on the short side at just over forty-one minutes, but the Presidents fill all of that time with quality material. This remains one of the lost gems of the nineties. It isn't for everyone, but hey -- Is anything?

Pros:

Funny
Good musicianship
No Truly Weak Tracks

Cons:

A Bit Short
The Attitude of the Band Puts Some People Off

Some Tracks I Like More Than Others:

Volcano
Mach 5
Twig
Froggie
Toob Amplifier




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Comments:Add a Comment 
Ficus
April 23rd 2006



28 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Good review, these guys are underrated

JAStewart
April 23rd 2006



180 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

This album is so good it hurts.

denboy
April 23rd 2006



85 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Everyone should own this album.. hehe, I think it's better than their firstThis Message Edited On 04.23.06

Zebra
Moderator
April 23rd 2006



2647 Comments


I've only heard Peaches and it was not very good. If this album is anything like the bands debut then I will have to pass.
Great work on the review, as usual.

Pechorin
April 23rd 2006



160 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Zebra hits the nail on the head here. If you don't like one or two of their songs, you probably won't like this. You either love these guys or hate them it seems.

metallicaman8
April 23rd 2006



4677 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This album was pretty good, but i prefer their first one

Bron-Yr-Aur
April 23rd 2006



4405 Comments


Aren't these the same lads who did the drew carey theme song at one point?

metallicaman8
April 23rd 2006



4677 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'm really sure. Do you mean the song that's like "CLEVLAND ROCKS! CLEVLAND ROCKS! ohio-hio-hio"

Pechorin
April 24th 2006



160 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yep. It's a cover (Not Sure of the Original band), but the POTUSA version can be found on Pure Frosting (soon to be reviewed by me when I finish some term papers).

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
December 12th 2007



17914 Comments


wow ok link took me to the wrong albumThis Message Edited On 12.12.07

random
November 29th 2009



2243 Comments


PUSA seem like nice guys.

random
September 19th 2010



2243 Comments


Supermodel is my favorite track here.



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