Author: tizzy asher
09/01/2001 | Magnet Magazine | Album Review
The debut album from Son, Ambulance is either an incredible exercise in irony or the most insipid release of 2001. Having made a name for itself earlier this year as one-half of a split release with Bright Eyes, this Omaha quartet seems intent on honing its hipster tongue to a sardonic point. Most of the time, vocalist/songwriter Joe Knapp leans toward the sensitive approach, wistfully relaying tales of love and love lost. "An Instant Death" and "The Anonymous" place Knapp's vocals against a backdrop of shiny keyboards and bright guitars, but the mood is continually interrupted with any number of ill-fated jokes. Consider "Maria in Motion," an unwieldy flamenco-style number about young love, and "I Promise You'll Never Grow Old," which incorporates the Sesame Street theme song into it chorus. These silly bits detract from Euphemystic rather than enhance it; it's almost as if Knapp were poking fun at his own abilities. Wry humor may be a necessity in these post-modern times, but how much do we have to endure before a good pop record can just go back to being a good pop record?