Six Cents & Natalie

When Punk Fell to Earth

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AllMusic Review by Stephen Cramer

In 2001, California's Blackbean & Placenta Records released this collection of songs by Sean Tollefson's Six Cents & Natalie side project. The Tullycraft singer/bassist recorded the songs on When Punk Fell to Earth in 1993 and 1994. Most of the songs were released on cassette, vinyl singles, and various indie pop compilations. The 25 songs solidify Tollefson's place in the history of the early- to mid-'90s lo-fi movement, as the entire CD was recorded either straight to cassette or on four-track. The disc begins with "Still Maybe," a simple keyboard-based track that's highlighted by Tollefson's high-pitched vocals and coy, reflective lyrics. Highlights include the sweet and neurotic "I Called Just to Hear Your Voice," the smattering of sounds on "Easter Sunday," and "Queenie Isn't Here," which features samples from the movie The Breakfast Club. The disc ends with the layered beats of "Mail Order Catalog." The disc includes six cover songs, including renditions of "The Water Song" by the Mountain Goats, "True Colors" by Cyndi Lauper, "Your Class" by BMX Bandits, "I'm Smarter Than That" by Zaius, and "Living on Video" by Trans-X. Gary Miklusek guests on guitar on some songs and Melissa Jeter provides guest vocals. Even more so than Tullycraft songs, with Six Cents & Natalie Tollefson offers genuine and offbeat songs with more than a hint of emotional vulnerability. Along with 1999's Show Me the Honey, When Punk Fell to Earth serves to compile Tollefson's impressive output of simple, albeit awkward, twee pop gems.