It upsets me that I missed the 88 opening for the Flaming Lips on Monday at the Knitting Factory, but I'll still review their latest album. The 88 is a local band that has an incredibly admirable work ethic. I remember a period of about a year where you couldn't leave a big show in Los Angeles without having one of the members thrust a CD single into your hands. Eventually curiousity got the best of you and you put it on. What you heard was a very sunshiney, pop band. A couple of years have passed and they're still working their asses off (featured on the OC, playing on Morning Becomes Eclectic, prominent displays on Myspace, etc.) and writing catchy songs.
There's nothing groundbreaking or trendy about the 88 (critics frequently compare them to the Beatles, Kinks, Beach Boys, Jellyfish and Squeeze) but Over and Over is fun to listen to. My favorite tracks are: "All 'Cause of You," "Nobody Cares," and "Coming Home." Eight of the other tracks are good (the only track I usually skip over is "Jesus Is Good"). My only advice to the band is lose the suits. To paraphrase my friend Jerry, the reason you get into a band is so you don't have to wear a suit and tie. At least if you're going to wear suits on stage wear something cool, not regular business suits.
Download their first album here
See them for free @ Sea Level Records on Saturday 10/29/05
See them for $12 @ The Troubadour on Friday 12/02/05