Standout Track: “Transparency,” a surf-tinged punk ditty by D.C.- and Arlington-based quartet Nice Breeze. The band has experimental roots—guitarist John Howard and drummer Martha Hamilton also play in noisy freeform act Plums, and guitarist Barrett Jones has made droney music with Obetrol—but this song is as Saran Wrap–clear as its name. Singer Andy Fox sounds like a graduate of the Malkmus school of vocal delivery, and Hamilton’s simple kit work cries out for handclaps.
Musical Motivation: Dubious advertising. The song bears a message that the Bureau of Consumer Protection could get behind. “It’s got science behind it, but whose science it?/Who paid for the research, who put them together?” sings Fox. “It shouldn’t matter but it does/Paid conclusions just because.”
Ad Nauseam: “I wrote the lyrics very, very late one night after I saw part of an infomercial (for a since-forgotten product) where the narrator repeatedly proclaimed the product ‘had science behind it,’ as if that proclamation should be all one needed to confidently buy the product,” emails Fox, a 44-year-old Columbia Heights resident. “I happened to have some paper within reach and after hearing the narrator say the phrase a few times, the rest of the lyrics—generally about the idea that things shouldn’t be taken at face value without investigation—flowed.”
Listen to the track below.