My Dad Is Dead

The Taller You Are, The Shorter You Get

  • AllMusic Rating
    9
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

With The Taller You Are, The Shorter You Get, all the pieces fell into place for My Dad Is Dead. The usual cynicism, hopelessness, bitching and moaning about being alone are all here, along with the occasional wordplay, like naming the opening instrumental "For Lack of a Better Word." The music is that of an angst-filled, Cleveland-based loner devouring that city's fertile college radio scene without letting go of some classic rock devices like grand proggy instrumentals and guitar solos. It's also drum machine driven and reeks of D.I.Y., but while all these elements can be found across the MDID catalog, Taller lands every song, trumping the common "cloying" and "acquired taste" accusations despite the two-LP run time. Mark Edwards -- the sole proprietor of MDID at this point -- gave Interpol their blueprint when he mashed Joy Division and My Bloody Valentine for "The Big Picture," a soaring track that's arguably his best ever. The song's "I could spend my whole life worrying about what's going to happen to me" makes it undeniably the quintessential MDID track, credo and all. "What Can I Do" and "A Man Possessed" round out the superior laments with Edwards sounding ticked-off at hopelessness and sulking throughout, with nerdy horned-rimmed glasses you almost can hear coming through the mix. Hüsker Dü-influenced guitars and Chris Burgess' gloriously smalltime production give an indie-Americana spin to the album and flippant messages in the liner notes suggest Edwards won't be joining Ian Curtis anytime soon. Curtis wouldn't offer something as shameless as "I need a calculator to count up my problems/But I can count my friends on my fingers on my one had" either, and that's what makes Edwards and Taller special. Spiritually lost, middle-class, Middle Americans who free up Friday nights for cheap beer and fretting never had it so good.

blue highlight denotes track pick