Earwig have been on my iPod for almost two weeks now, getting repeated listens because I just can’t figure out how to write about them but I also can’t stop listening to them. On the one hand, they don’t sound all that different from a lot of what I used to hear on ’90s alternative rock radio. But on the other hand, the lead single “Used Kids” seems to be about a rock star who wants to kill everyone in the audience and then off himself, too. The lyrics are fascinating. And the same is true for most of this album. “Japanese Girlfriend” cries, “It’s so hard to watch you fade away,” and the title track shows similar depth of heartbreak. So why am I struggling with this review? Maybe it’s because even though I feel like I’ve heard this stuff before, some of the songs don’t fit neatly into any “type” of music. And the hooks, while not novel, still somehow feel fresh. And ditto the drums and vocals. And all of the melodies are catchy. When I start adding this many “Ands” in my thoughts about a band, I know there’s something there that’s worth writing about. Songs like Cicada are inventive (or maybe it’s better to call them “reinventive”) and entertaining on a deeper level than Don Henley and Green Day. I like this album more every time I hear it.
Like I said, I’ve listened to this album several times now and I never skip a track. I can tell it’s good, and yet I’m having trouble telling you why. I’m gonna recommend it here, and hope one of you can tell me why I’m not crazy to think the Earwigs are a lot of fun to listen to.
Oh, and one more thing: Deadwood is not only good, but great. Check it out.
Used Kids (from “Center of the Earth”)
Next Christmas (non-album track)
Father Christmas (Kinks cover)
They’ve got lots more on their label’s website (follow this link).