This strikingly clean-cut Ocean State quartet proved to be more left of center than I expected - and all the better. Parallel 5th's somewhat irreverent spin on "new wave" tinkers with Devo's satirical ethos (minus the esoteric schtick), occasionally taking advantage of such accoutrements as saxophone...and harp (wtf?). Furthermore, mouthpiece James McGrath possesses an alternating sung/spoken timbre that slots in the vicinity of Buddy Holly and Ric Ocasek. Tongue in cheek, slice-of-life motifs populate the likes of "Snowbirds," and my favorite "The Vacation," which bears a succulent chorus hook that helps channel it's dystopian context into something truly memorable. There are some surprisingly gentile ballad-esque pieces here to boot, namely "Foamy" and "Our Lady of the Half Shell," while "Rhode Island" is a heavy-handed ode to their home state. A nice, crisp recording I might add, and the band is tighter than a ducks ass. As a bonus, I've tacked on "Carrots and Peas," Parallel 5th's contribution to the Living Room compilation album.
03. Rhode Island
04. The Vacation
05. Our Lady on the Half Shell
06. The Vacation (dance remix) plus: Carrots and Peas