In the past year I’ve discovered a number of groups that fit the arty post-punk category, including Kickball and Javelins, but none have had the momentum nor the fervor of Portland, Oregon’s Wet Confetti. Yet this band, like many apparent newcomers out there, has been around for a while. Wet Confetti formed in 2001 and self released Another Fair, Another Show and followed it with another self-released album, 2004’s This Is So Illegal (Do It Fast), which was subsequently re-released on Pampelmoose. Now wade through compilations including PDX Pop Now! and that will bring you to 2006 and Laughing, Gasping.
With Laughing, Gasping, the trio continues to dish out edgy post-punk. It appears Wet Confetti is about to embark on a new journey—one that will allow the band to gain the respect they deserve.
Their sound has not strayed far from This Is So Illegal despite going from do-it-yourself to being a signed act produced by Mike Cozzi (Shreikback) and Dave Allen (Gang Of Four). In Laughing, Gasping, Wet Confetti is both consistent and unique. Alberta Poon’s vocals are intense and slightly airy. She molds her lyrics with repetition and oft incomprehensible lyrics that compliment drummer Mike McKinnon and guitarist/keyboardist Daniel Grazzini.
Poon, McKinnon and Grazzini blend very well together. “Touch It” was a natural opener for the album, beginning with Grazzini on soft keys that build into McKinnon on percussion and Poon on vocals. “False Alarm” and “Sorry Dinosaur” are early favorites. In “False Alarm”, Grazzini’s brings in a near Halloween style keyboard sound, one that is fairly common on Laughing, Grasping, but most apparent here. In “Sorry Dinosaur” he mimics Poon’s vocals on guitar. “Laughing, Gasping” was featured on Miles, a skate video from 2005.
It is often difficult to discern exactly what Poon says in her lyrics as the depth in the music is overpowering in a hypnotic, mesmerizing way. “Marine Show” closes the album on a slightly softer note. This sometimes softer sound is the key difference between This Is So Illegal and Laughing, Gasping.
Wet Confetti is a band that cannot write a poor song—they are all catchy, all creative. Taking their style of arty post-punk and making it consistent throughout Laughing, Gasping, Wet Confetti provides every new song with just enough inspiration to make each a unique gem. There are no bounds to the promising future of this trio and they are marching foward at full force. Be prepared to discover your new favorite band in Laughing, Gasping. It might just happen.
This review was originally published October 27, 2006 on the old version of FensePost.
Pampelmoose [CD, 2006]
1. Touch It
2. Dazzle Of Dynamite
3. False Alarm
4. Sorry Dinosaur
5. Donuts & Old People
6. Laughing, Gasping
7. Make An Offer
8. I Can’t Refuse
9. Take My Advice
10. Marine Show