The summer of '06 finds TFK's Trevor McNevan and Steve Augustine joining bandmates Justin Smith and John Bunner for FM Static's second album release. On Critically Ashamed, The guys take a lighthearted approach to life & pop culture without sacrificing the crunchy hooks and infectious melodies fans have come to love. Includes "Nice Piece of Art," "Girl of the Year," "Flop Culture," and more.
Format: Compact disc Vendor: Capitol Christian Music Group
FM Static is the alter ego of Thousand Foot Krutchs front man Trevor McNevan and drummer Steve Augustine. Their 2003 debut, What Are You Waiting For delivered surprising bite and wit to Christian radio and saw the one-time side project develop into a full-blown touring entity.
Critically Ashamed delivers melodic pop songs with nods to Fountains of Wayne, Weezer and the lighter side of blink-182. The first half is heavily weighted toward satirical barbs and pop culture reference overload. FM Static starts by skewering shallow pop culture (Flop Culture), false celebrity praise (The Next Big Thing) and perverted desire for attention (Americas Next Freak). Flop Culture addresses the good old days with a chorus asking, Can ya tell me what happened to Michael Jackson?/And MTV tradin music for acting/Avril Lavignes on the cover of Maxim/Whoaoh.
Americas Next Freak comes out of the gate name checking any number of scenesters trying to fit in before declaring, And I never tried to be your trend/Never asked to be everyones friend/Im just who I am/And thats life for real.
From there, the record delves into themes that generally cover girls (The Video Store; Girl of the Year; The Moment of Truth) or spiritual yearning (Tonight; A Nice Piece of Art; Waste of Time). The band delivers much more on the lyrically lighter fare, with the more introspective material falling into generic territory.
The satire that dominates the front half of the album is bound to attract the lions share of attention, with the bountiful ironic pop culture sourcing evoking both chuckles and eye rolls. The lyrical punch lines are hit and miss, such that, even with tongues planted firmly in cheek, a lyrical foil may have helped the proceedings. And, ironically, the most uptempo material sometimes suffers from a lack of energy in the recording. These songs scream to jump out from the speakers but cant quite muster the momentum to do so.
Critically Ashamed is a solid, if not remarkable, follow-up for the band. No new ground is broken; but no steps backward are taken either. FM Static holds a unique position as charming satirical commentator and court jester. With some lyrical fine-tuning and sonic expansion, the potential for greater things is for the taking.