Literacy is Sexy 

Brooklyn U.K. (Smith Seven)

The Minutemen taught us that song titles can be more important than lyrics, so when a record by a young East Memphis pop-punk band opens with songs called "Fuck Art, Let's Kill" and "Motown (Literacy Is Sexy)," you get the sense you're in for something different from what you expected. And this band delivers. At five songs in just under 17 minutes, Literacy Is Sexy leaves you anxious for more and eager to see just how far this young band can push its sound, which is overactive and idiosyncratic in a charmingly spirited way. The band mixes punk and arena-rock and soul/pop undercurrents into songs with torrents of interesting words and rousing call-and-response sections. When they get political, they sound confused, which is actually encouraging for such a young band: They sound real. When they sing, "There ain't no sunshine when she's away," I almost believe it's a Bill Withers reference. ("Motown [Literacy Is Sexy]," "Being Right Isn't Enough [Miss America]") -- CH

Grade: B+


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