Never judge a band by their name, as on the surface Professor Caffeine & the Insecurities is something I would have expected to discover through fellow TPA co-conspirator Roger Trenwith. Alas this rather spiky edged ensemble have stuck marshmallows on their barbed exterior to conceal what lies within. Or as they would put it…
“Insecurities is tearing up the whatever-you-wanna-call-it scene in Boston with a signature combo of erratic progressive and post-emo singalong worthy rock.”
And who am I to disagree? Oh, I’ve gone all Eurythmicsy. Moving swiftly on, the Video Game EP is the third outing, in as many years, for this Boston based quintet and continues their heady mix of high octane music that kicks you in the nether regions, but still leaves you wanting more.
Now since the rather splendid Bent Knee emerged on the scene a few years back, I’ve kept a watchful eye towards this Eastern area of the U.S., as well as stretching up away to New Jersey, which offered one of the great listens of 2016 in the form of the Thank You Scientists’ Stranger Heads Prevail.
The Caffeine Profs tread a different course to both of the above and amid their quirky, in-yer-face, but deceptively clever songs, is a great sense of fun and enjoyment. Back tracking slightly here to the band’s 2015 debut EP, you’ve got to admire track titles such as My Date With Anna Marie Was Emotionally and Physically Exhausting and Ever Since That Car Accident, Steve Sure Has Been Acting Strange.
Three years on and the humour remains, but under this seemingly flippant membrane lie lyrics that may touch on love and love lost; they are not bubblegum, but rather bitter-sweet, as we discover in the EP opener Daisy. In fact the overriding theme appears to surround the burning ambition to create music and the hidden costs to see that creation recognised. A concept album and not a wizard and goblin in sight.
OK I’ve latched on to the band’s sense of humour, but what of the music? The killer track for me is DO A BARREL ROLL!!!!!, as it encapsulates the band in just under six minutes. Click the Bandcamp track link below and take a listen – ALL the way through!
You get the impression that these guys could make a comfortable living writing ear friendly songs, but there’s an edge to them and it’s an edge I like. Bigeron Sword Dash is a prime example; simplified it could easily be the outro track to one of those dreadful chick flick films, but the band’s integrity raises it above such mediocrity. Yell away guys… yell away!
The Video Game EP is half an hour of great fun with a backdrop that promises much for the future. It took a couple of listens before it started to fully gel, although the aforementioned DO A BARREL ROLL!!!!! was an instant hit. It is pretty intense from start to finish, so the other instant winner and the final cut Momo (Peach), was very welcome. It also shows a different side to the band and one that I hope they will explore more fully on their first full length album.
01. Daisy (3:24)
02. Wiley & Light’s Science Fair Project (5:09)
03. P.K. Thundah (5:16)
04. Hold “A” To Charge Your Laser (1:10)
05. DO A BARREL ROLL!!!!! (5:56)
06. Bigeron Sword Dash (4:02)
07. Momo (Peach) (3:24)
Total Time – 28:21
Paul Gaughran – Guitar & Yelling
Dan Smith – Bass & More Yelling
Dennis Bere – Guitar & Slightly Less Yelling
Jesse Stiglich – Drums, Percussion & Fair Amounts Of Yelling
Derek Tanch – Keyboards, Synth & Little To No Yelling
Horns – Tristen Fuller, Cody O’Toole & Ari Lazarine
Strings – Lilly Innella, Drew Cunningham, & Dan Sebring
Record Label: Independent
Country of Origin: U.S.A.
Date of Release: 4th January 2018