Spymob

Sitting Around Keeping Score

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Minnesota's Spymob have been branded a funk band, based solely on their contribution to the re-recording of N.E.R.D.'s In Search Of... (the version released in the U.S. in 2002, not the drum-machine-driven version released in parts of Europe and Asia in 2001). To the surprise of those who don't know the band's past beyond that, entailing a 1996 album released on a small independent, it turns out that they have a lot more in common with Fountains of Wayne, Ben Folds Five, and forgotten hopefuls Blinker the Star than anyone remotely funky -- with Todd Rundgren and Jellyfish being clear points of influence. Sitting Around Keeping Score is accomplished modern-day power pop, heavy on melody and tight in structure. They're one of those bands that's so full of energy that even the ballads come off as relentlessly peppy. The only clear problem they have is in the way that they're perceived: N.E.R.D. fans who are attentive enough to give the band a chance might get the last thing expected, and the people who are more likely to be into the band have already dismissed them for their associations. That's shame because they deserve better than that.

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