Review by Mister Substitute
The highly-anticipated new album from Ska Punk International just dropped today, and boy let me tell you, Lumpy produced a very clever, intellectual album in “Burn the Page.” SPI’s very own Cool Chris told Mustard and I about the addition of Lumpy to the SPI crew and the subsequent release of their album and you could absolutely tell that Chris was very excited about this album. Lumpy is one of SPI’s few signings (SPI has done a wonderful job at including music from different genres that the ska community has labeled “ska-jacent”) of a non-Ska punk band. But as Chris has said himself, Ska is absolutely at the heart of this album, some songs using the traditional upstrokes and almost every song having some horns involved. But, for me, what sets this album apart is the beautiful, thoughtful and thought-provoking lyrics. The only thing I can compare it to is having a movie you absolutely love (for me it’s “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”) and watching it over and over again and still discovering something new each time: each time I’ve listened to this album, I discover a new little nugget of wisdom or crafty prose.
Musically speaking, “Burn the Page” is very easy to listen to, very supportive of the lyrics and the mood of the song in general. You have some songs that have sort of a singer-songwriter sound, some that really highlight the beautiful horn arrangements put together by Lumpy, and some songs have a stellar synthesizer that carries the song’s tone like a message from space. Lumpy’s voice is something that should be discussed as well, due to its uniqueness: almost monotone, very uniform yet outstandingly unique. But, once again, much to my delight, the lyrics of this album are what really make this album special for me.
“Burn the Page” is a very existential album: listeners will think about their place in this world, in society–heck–even in your living room. The album opens with one of Lumpy’s singles, “House Plant.” We were very fortunate to get to see the music video provided by Brooklyn Vegan and just that music video alone made me a Lumpy fan: it’s DIY, it’s simple, it’s very relatable (for me). Lumpy put out 2 more singles and music videos for those singles which were “Loudest of Metaphors” and “Back to Earth,” the latter put out via Bearded Gentleman Music. The music videos are very spot-on for the style of “Burn the Page”: Lumpy doesn’t need anything fancy to show off, just an open park and some drone footage or a green screen and a living room. The message is so simple and yet so effective: exist. Just be. It may be tough, but life is what we make of it; whether it’s with someone else like in “One With You” or alone like in “I Never Saw This Coming,” Lumpy really inspired me to–well–keep going.
Hearing “Burn the Page” and thoroughly enjoying every track individually, I’m very excited for Lumpy’s future. Lumpy isn’t flashy, in-your-face, or ostentatious: Lumpy is forever and unapologetically Lumpy, and I love them for that. You can check out “Burn the Page” on Spotify and Bandcamp, also follow Lumpy on Instagram and Twitter.