The Vertical Mind by Fred Schneider & The Superions (HHBTM Records)
You might know Fred Schneider for his off-kilter vocals for The B-52’s, one of the most famous bands in the world. Schneider has joined with electronic duo Superions, aka Noah Brodie (keys, drums) and Dan Marshall (beats) and released a non-traditional Christmas album called Destination…Christmas! in 2011 as well as a few singles since then.
Don’t expect anything deep or meaningful from Schneider and friends, the songs on The Vertical Mind don’t dig much deeper than what one needs for a vacation or what’s in his sandwich. Konnichiwa is simply Schneider calling out greetings in different languages, so if you want to know how to say “hello” around the world, you can dance to the groovy beat and learn something too. The music gets you moving your tush to disco and funk numbers with silly lyrics like Sleeping Booty’s “I like your sexy…attitude” or singing along to a song about rampaging ponies and platypi “run kiddies run!” on Stampede at the Petting Zoo. The only non-Superions track is Schneider joining the National Male Chorus of Australia for a rousing When the Dingos Ate the Babies, making this listener wish that there was more of this human gusto and heart included in the rest of the album.
The music as created by Brodie and Marshall is fun on its own, Savage Kiss has a rumbling bass line and keyboard stabs tempered by just a little bit of kitsch. Passport Wallet Cellphone sounds like the funkiest song you’ll hear on a smooth jazz station with plenty of cool keys, horns, bubbly bass loops and jangling guitars.
Fred Schneider & The Superions’ The Vertical Mind will perk up your day and put a smile on your face. “Woo Hoo!”
(Review by Bret Miller)