What Would Midget Jesus Do?
Some of Midget Jesus's recent CD reviews have been: *Yelping, snotty vocals, guitars used and abused like the rhythm instruments that they are -- Midget Jesus jumps out so strongly at the beginning of their first album that you can only wonder if they're going to slow down for at least one song. They don't. Hallelujah! So let's see, if we find ourselves with a tough moral choice to make, we look down at our WWMJD bracelet and - presto! - we know the right thing to do is flip someone off and go grab a beer. The unwavering pissiness and catchy guitar rock of WWMJD? is refreshing but also exhausting after ten songs and may have been better suited to an EP. Still, this one of those albums that comes out of left field by matching up genuine rock attitude with some decent song structures; just listen to 'Liar' with it's chorus that seems predestined to blow out a few speakers in the metro area. The influences might be your typical list of indie rock all-stars so no need to go through that exercise, suffice to say it's all one-TWO-three-FOUR beats, overdriven guitars, picked bass for that little extra crackle, and an overall mischievous smirk. What are they saying? Does it matter? With lines like 'You make me smoke dope/and now I'm injecting soap' or 'She said she likes a man who can do a hundred pushups/I can do ninety-nine' sneaking in between the all-engines-firing rhythm section then you can pretty much tune in and out as you please and still get the full effect. It's hard to tell where Midget Jesus will go from here. Maybe they'll stick with the relentless amps turned up to 11 attack, but there may be a little more to these four guys then a casual listen would let on. There are a lot of pretty clever stops and starts, the two guitar attack can be fairly intricate at times, and within all the over the top sonics are some smart pop melodies. What will Midget Jesus do? Peter Hanlon/ Northeast Performer Magazine (September 2002) *Midget Jesus, What Would Midget Jesus Do? (Partial Eclipse) What do Lee Marvin, a headless naked woman with a foghorn, wandering tree trunks, and WWII have in common? No idea? Well, they're all featured on the cover art of Midget Jesus' album, What Would Midget Jesus Do? and, as far as I can tell, alluded to somewhere in amongst it's songs. This bizarre juxtaposition of images, fronted by a robotic being trapped inside a colorful vortex, is the perfect introduction to this weird and wonderful band from Boston. A funky quartet of musical misfits, the Midget Jesus boys -- singer and guitarist David Fieldhouse, guitarist John Cullen, bassist Chris Regalia, and drummer Pat O'Shea -- have created an album of short, sharp punk rock tunes, all so completely enjoyable. It's obvious the guys are having a good time doing what they do, and such excitement is infectious. Whether the songs are happy or sad, What Would Midget Jesus Do? is the kind of record that just makes you want to jump around and break stuff. Midget Jesus' brand of catchy pop-punk, reminiscent of the Ramones and early Supergrass, never gets boring. The band's songs rarely outstay their welcomes; hitting their peaks as soon as they begin and maintaining momentum right the way through. 'Money', 'Mission', and '8 Feet High' are great examples of this. The songs sound almost as if they're just one long chorus each, every line as contagious as the next. The harmonies are complex (which is rare, these days, on a punk record), but thoroughly engaging. On 'Money', Fieldhouse sounds as if he's singing a duet with himself. Not as bouncy but just as appealing as the album's other tracks, 'Problem' ('You don't seem to recognize / That I can't say no / And I can't disguise / No matter what you say') and 'Discotheque' ('She said she likes a man / Who can do a hundred push-ups / I can do 99') are more controlled tunes musically, suggesting that while completely adept at creating three-minute punk gems, MJ can also dig a little deeper and pull out something more sedate, more fleshed out. Whether raging on about the effects of drug addiction ('Coffee'), the dangers of falling in love ('Nevermind'), cheating dames ('Liar') or anxious delirium ('Excited'), Midget Jesus' debut is consistently surprising, refreshing and fun. Nikki Tranter/Pop Matters Magazine (Jan. 2003) *Welcome to the punk-flavored pop/rock world of Midget Jesus, where the Cure and the Psychedelic Furs and Bow Wow Wow crash an 80s revival party, and Robert Smith gets drunk and hijacks the stage. These songs are jumping, wild, headshaking beats with chiming guitars and some lines that are repeated over and over and over while the frenzy builds until you wonder if your CD player is starting to skip. Jennifer Layton/Indie Music.com (Jan. 2003) *(Boston Globe Calendar/September 2002/Jonathan Perry):'..Midget Jesus, an excellent new local power-pop outfit...' *(A+A #233): '...Absolutely stunning ragged hooks that sink right in. Just remember to play it loud.' *(Shredding Paper/September 2002/Steve Y): '...same sort of guitar tone and sound as early 'Superchunk'...Hell, I don't really know what else to say about this, because I've already compared them to one of my favorite bands, which is about as high a form of compliment I can pay.' *(Fine Print Magazine/September 2002/Earl Campbell): '...Cheeky indie power pop with wicked hooks, grinding, swirling, crackling guitars.' Boston' Midget Jesus has been receiving very positive critical praise for their self-released debut album. It was produced by renowned Boston legend David Minehan (ex-Neighborhoods/Paul Westerberg, Buttercup), and recorded at Woolly Mammoth Studio in Boston. 'What Would Midget Jesus Do?' is out now and available in local stores and at CDBaby.com. Midget Jesus is comprised of guitarist/singer David Fieldhouse, guitarist Jon Cullen, bassist Chris Regalia, and drummer Pat O'Shea. All of the members have spent time in other local Boston bands, including Blanket Party, Legendary Lunch and The Keep, but ultimately the album 'What Would Midget Jesus Do?' is the result of Fieldhouse's long journey from drumming in various London punk bands to becoming a driven singer/songwriter. With his mother being 'with the band' so to speak, the likes of Lemmy, Mitch Mitchell and others were always around, ultimately having undue influence on the young and impressionable Fieldhouse. In his former life, Fieldhouse opened up for the likes of the Psychedelic Furs (on their first show) and The UK Subs, and also credits himself with having a hand in Polly Styrene's nervous breakdown, but that can neither be confirmed nor denied. Fieldhouse moved to Boston in the late 80's with every intention of leading the settled down suburban life we all dream of. Not realizing he was failing miserably at it, he caught the writing bug two years ago, getting up before dawn to record very caffeinated bits of songs into his basement 4-track recorder. He then drove the other band members around in his car to listen to the demos (apparently it was the only cassette player available) and recruited them to join the band. The result is a well-crafted pop record rooted in the late 80's/early 90' indie aesthetic of bands like Superchunk, Archers of Loaf and Dinosaur Jr. The boys are currently in the process of recording their second record, with new drummer Doug MacDonald, at Small Church with producer Bob Logan (Vic Firecracker). They are tentatively looking for a late spring release for the second CD.