When I was very little, my mum announced to my brother and I that we were having a ‘party’ that afternoon. It wasn’t anyone’s birthday or a special occasion but there would be Cheezels at 3pm. Hooray! The Dirty Sock Funtime Band would define this as a ‘No Good Reason Party’ and given that I still remember it some thirty-five years on, it was reason enough to leave a lasting impression!
The Dirty Sock Funtime Band are a zany bunch of New Yorkers who are putting their own stamp on kids music. Their second album, Sock-a-Delic, is full of all sorts of sounds ranging from the thrashy Rage Against the Time Machine to the hoedown tune, Music Everywhere.
The super silly story-telling style lyrics are best suited to pre-schoolers, as is the eclectic style of music. I have a few favourite tracks, chosen for the clever lyrics and funny topics. The ridiculousness of Baby Spies has instant appeal, as does Donut Brain Aliens (about a factory that turns donuts into brains). Little girls listening to Sock-a-Delic might have a new heroine in Half Rock Angel, a song about a girl who is the best guitarist in the world and lives in a lava castle. It’s a catchy tune and has lovely harmonies.
The album strays into covering compulsory-preschoolers-music-topics (dinosaurs and pirates) with Dino-sauring and Treasure. Is it just me or have we heard enough about dinosaurs and pirates? As I was listening, I was thinking that the album could do without these two tracks but then I heard Table Manners – another pirate track about important things like brushing your teeth with sardines – ewww! It’s brilliant, funny and not at all a cliché pirate song.
The winning track is the crazy Ernesto’s. I would love to see this track performed live – I think it shows off the band’s true performance style, a mix of comedy, music, storytelling. Delivered like an advertisement, Ernesto’s is the “Discount superheroes power market…” where you’ll find a “…clearance sale on capes! … Available in red and blue, grey and blue or classic puce!…” Clever stuff. I’m certain there will be kids wanting to pop down to their local Ernesto’s.
It’s too hard to liken The Dirty Sock Funtime Band to another artist or band – their sound is too varied but I did catch some pleasing Ice Cream Hands influences in there.