After nearly five years of woodshedding, Thrift Bakery released its first album in a quarter century, Mediocre Criminals. The group showcased new songs, new tools, new talents and a new member, Tater Totts on guitar (far left).
The album was self-released on Itunes, Amazon, Spotify and CDBaby, among others. Ten songs were from the album were released in Europe in 2018 through Feiyr on the group's Induction label.
Once again, Thrift Bakery combines rap, rock, and pop and also moves into soul, funk and metallic sounds. Bob Hair (3rd from left) devised more creative arrangements and Terrie Cloth (second from left) sings more.
Tater's guitars take the band to new places at the upper end of the audio spectrum, that make normal people lose control. Vocals by Dlux (right) take listeners to a new reality, familiar but surreal.
The band members ask this of each other.
1. Mediocre Criminal: The author Edward P. Jones was an editor for Tax Notes, much like D's straight job. He writes fiction about his native Washington, D.C., After reading some Jones stories, D realized they are about people he knew from everyday life. The rap song is about a man getting by -- no girl, no grills, no lowrider, no stack -- staying inside the line. .
2. Weapon: D wrote the lyrics in an afternoon at his job. The rap-rock song is about what's happening today and will stand the test of time. Terrie's bass holds it down. Turn it up.
3. Curse: The band loves to dance. The tune is about being free, regardless of consequence. Find the love. If Iggy Pop did house music, it would sound like this. Featured on Fresh Beats and Bounces by Dirty Budapest.
4. Tranquility Base: D says this is his favorite song on the record. You know those pop songs that have a rapper who is superfluous? That's what this is. All sing, all are heard. Tater sings with his guitar. The group switches to high frequencies on this song about escaping into the planet. Bob Hair brings back the diverse sounds of the organ here and through the record.
5. Old People: This song is about the constant calls to community virtue in our lives. We are tired of hearing "Do This, Be That, Experience Shows." Never have so many been subject to non-stop nonsense. So we wrote some admonitions of our own. Might be the psychedelic song with the most stringed instruments, including banjo.
6. Ball Don't Lie. There is more mysticism in life than we know. Rasheed Wallace coined the phrase. Everyone has their saying about sport. Terrie and D offer theirs. And if you don't like sport, enjoy the bass line and congas that define the mellow groove.
7. Crime of Fun: D sings, Bob sings. The melody is hummable. You won't forget it. Why work? Why study? At one time you needed metal money to ride the bus. Break out.
8. Song for Willie: We touch icons every day, but sometimes they touch us. Terrie wrote this song about Willie Nelson calling. D made up a narrative. Guitar, vocals and harmonica by Terrie. Distorted guitar by Tater.
9. Bull Mastiff: You go out to dinner. There's a dog. There's guitar-driven funk. It happens.
10. Mr. Sexypants: After dinner, you go dancing.. More funk, more disco. He is a regular.
11. Dirt Alert: An old story with modern techno and guitar sounds by Bob and Tater. Prairie kids grow up learning to scuffle, get their shirts torn in a hot summer, ride horses, get bug bites. There's a small one taking more than his or her share. If the house and farm are too small to bear, you hit the road, where the real trouble begins.
12. Baby Can't Come Home: Soul Music is inside you. You never know how it will reveal itself. This is The Midnight Hour, except in reverse, I'll never take you, never hold you. Based on a true story. The song least like the band, so D fought to get it on the record.
13. Don't Ask, Don't Tell, Don't Smell: Ever felt you would scream if you spent another minute pleasing other people? D and Tater feel it, and scream it out. Free your mind, free your soul, don't be a tool.
14. Cobertura de Pasta: What if Thrift Bakery met Control Machete and Cypress Hill south of the border, and lived to tell the story? That's what this is about.
15. State of Unease: People like comfort food. Knowing what they order is on the plate. You won't get that here. You get uncertainty every day. Risk is a part of life. People love metal You should too.