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Business Casual

Author: Mark Griffey
09/03/2004 | Junkmedia.org | www.junkmedia.org | Album Review
Since most bands shed their hardcore and punk tendencies as they age, it could be argued that expressing anger through music is a form of adolescent credulity. Something that - like messiness, a fear of brussel sprouts, or extreme selfishness - manifests itself not because it is justified, but rather because it is expected as a rite of passage. While this is certainly debatable, Omaha's Beep Beep sure makes me think so. Even though the bloodcurdling screams in songs like "Misuse Their Bodies" and "I am the Secretary" hang on fittingly desperate lines about office life and sexual frustration, they feel vacant. Whereas punk's originators had a legitimate agenda to propel their vitriol, this foursome only has their own boredom to articulate.

Despite the wailing vocals and insipid lyrics, the rhythm section nearly saves this album with its tensely coiled, ready-to-explode grooves. The temperature level remains near boiling for the entire album, and the intensity is matched with a similar sense of inventiveness by Eric Bemberger's fretboard-shattering guitar work. But this isn't an instrumental band, and songs like "Executive Foliage" are largely ruined by flailing, pointless vocals. When we have superior, like-minded bands Wire, the Rogers Sisters, and the Rapture at the ready, it's hard not to focus on Beep Beep's faults.
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