After whetting fan's appetites with two EPs, Michigan's Thunderbirds Are Now! deliver the full-length goods with Doctor, Lawyer, Indian Chief. With the addition of keyboardist Scott Allen, the band's updated sound is punchier and even more abrasive as a result. After the sound collage intro of "KGB Phone Sexxx," the quartet doesn't hold back on the chaotic "Not Witherspoon, but Silverstone." Guitarist Ryan Allen's high-pitched vocal attack serves as a fifth instrument, and the band's tightly-laced instrumentation blisters at a feverish pace throughout the song, and throughout the whole album. "Pink Motorcycle" continues the band's exhilarating and exhausting pace in the song that the disc's title is culled from. Song's like "Kitchen Orgy" and "Party A.R.M." include some of Scott Allen's most complex and fiery keyboard lines ever; they're far more feisty than any of his work with the more melodic Red Shirt Brigade. The rhythm section of drummer Mike Durgan and bassist Martin Smith is steady and relentless throughout. "Your Mission is an Intermission" serves, not surprisingly, as an intermission, allowing frazzled listeners to catch their collective breaths while enjoying a weave of blips and bleeps. A song like "When it Comes to Elements, Hydrogen is Titz" showcases the band in all their glory, showing their true colors: an irreverent group of 20-somethings pushing the post-punk envelope with every twist and turn. The cathartic, Brainiac-inspired jams continue throughout as Ryan and Scott Allen draw from their endless well of energy and their obvious interest in experimentation. "Top Secret Upskirt Camera" features Ryan Allen's sassiest vocals to date, and the disc comes to a festive close with the steady and rousing "Babygirl, I got ten kids (let's not make it eleven)." A relentless, invigorating effort, Doctor, Lawyer, Indian Chief hints at much greater things to come for the group. Ohio's Action Driver Records released the disc in the late summer of 2003.
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AllMusic Review by Stephen Cramer