Half Time at the Proper Name Spelling Bee," which toe the line between the cutesy and the smartly funny (and are so adored by fans that people decide to make tribute videos to the band, like the one above, in which someone took the already mentioned spelling-themed song and set it to clips of the spelling bee documentary, Spellbound). Secondly, there's the sound, which former Observer contributor Dave Sims aptly described in Paste magazine as sounding like "The Ramones fronted by Babe the pig." Then there's the energetic live performances, which, as seen just last Friday night at the Annex House in Dallas, feature the three-piece poppy, punky act jumping about like nerds oblivious to their own nerdiness (or perhaps just incredibly comfortable with that fact--making it all the more awesome).
Lastly, there's the creativity: Frontman Eric Michener hand-draws all of the band's posters is part of it. But another great example of that spark? The plan for the band's upcoming EP, Nom.
The concept's pretty cool: Michener recorded all nine of the disc's tracks fairly basically--just tracking his vocals and some acoustic guitar strums--and passed the disc along to The On Nom Noms (Denton producers Howard Draper and Mark Sonnabaum) to fill in the rest, completely devoid of his own input. The results? Some pretty great stuff, including the tracks "Larger Than Before" and "Tired Tired," which find Michener's nasally voice coupled with ambient pianos, cymbals and some faint choir singing--basically a far cry from (and fittingly, larger than) any previous Fishboy tracks. Another standout? The song "Accidents," which is more driving than most Fishboy tracks normally dare try to be.
Check Hype Machine and you'll see the blogosphere already geeking out about the geek rock that ensued (not to mention a few more downloads)--and for good reason. After the jump, Michener's press release notes on the disc, which will be officially released in mid-August, and its creative process. And, also after the jump? A free download of "Accidents," to boot.