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Food Near Me, Weather Today Irina Shtreis , March 9th, 2023 08:56

The trio from Rhode Island respond to the imperfections of the world with a haiku-like long play, finds Irina Shtreis

The Providence-based trio draw inspiration from digital reality. The name mimics the spelling of the Instagram profile – apparently for the sake of social media transparency. The haiku-like album title Food Near Me, Weather Tomorrow cites the two most popular Google requests. It might feel like their creative approach derives from the copy-paste method.

Each of the ten tracks seems to be guided by a magpie principle. The lyrics zoom in on the surrounding environment. There is a lot of observation caused either by boredom (“I left it there two hours ago and the gum is still sticky” on the opening track ‘Gum’) or mild frustration (“You talk so much” and “Now my best friend’s tongue is in my mouth / I twiddle my best friend’s tongue around my mouth / And you still talk way too much” on ‘Twiddle’). This deliberately puerile manner puts off unsympathetic listeners in a fashion similar to punk fanzines featuring an inappropriate picture of whatever is inappropriate on the cover.

Musically, the album triggers contrasting associations. While the first seconds of the opening track misleadingly hint at the dream pop worlds of Maria Minerva, the rest of the track (and the album) are a bit harder to pin down. The most haunted parts allude to The Slits, X-Ray Spex and, more distantly, to Cath Carroll’s England Made Me. The average length of two-and-a-half minutes for most of the songs implies a punk sensibility. So does the elementary set-up: electric guitar, drum machine, and sampler. One song blends into another, in most cases sharing tempo and lacking a standard verse-chorus structure. Repetitions within each ostensibly reflect on the somewhat monotonous pace of life.

Food Near Me, Weather Tomorrow can be taken as a social commentary. Yet, it doesn’t aim at being understood beyond the close-knit circle of friends and fans. The members – former classmates Lids B-day, sam m-h: and Gabe C-D – do their best to keep the identities undisclosed. ‘Gum’ resonates with the former name of the collective – Baby; Baby: Explores the Reasons Why that Gum is Still on the Sidewalk. It’s a concept where enigma feeds into the niche cult following. Subcultural element aside, it’s an album where strangeness and familiarity merge.