SPUN: The Feminists

Publication YearIssue Date 

The Feminists are a pretty fun band. They've got catchy keyboard riffs, Ben Folds-esque, articulated vocals, girl/boy harmonies, guitar solos and really fast drum fills. Their 2008 release, Can't Scream Loud Enough, would have worked so perfectly in 1998. Unfortunately, it's not 1998.

The album's first track, "The Beginning Of The World," shows initial promise with heartpunchingly fast synth melodies and drums, at first just coming off as a cool song with an unassuming nostalgic feel. The rest of the track begins to reveal itself as it breaks into a piano and organ-driven affair with vocals echoing the album's title phrase to almost no end. "Have We Already Gone (Over The Edge)" features punky, eighth-note guitar picking that moves quickly into a half-time section and then into a guitar solo section, labelling itself as overdone before it even had a chance. The rest of the offering goes out on this note, pushing gimmicks that, introduced in another time, could have made this band seem revolutionary.

This album is a head-bopping, good time for the most part. It just seems like a collection of the unnoticed songs from a one-hit wonder once upon a time, almost prompting the listener to wonder, "This song sounds familiar. Did I hear it while I was flipping the CD to [insert Fastball/Semisonic/New Radicals hit song here]." When the Feminists claimed on their website to be a 21st century band, they must have meant the 20th, because that's where their music leaves them.