Chomsky speaks to New Wavers

Hallie Thomas

Hallie Thomas

Noam Chomsky is a contemporary American linguist. Chomsky is a Dallas new wave band. Confusing the two is the difference between being well-read and being obsessed.

Days will begin with morning dronings of “Overshot the window/ Overshot the mark.” Evenings will close with a triumphant “Don’t let the bastards/ Be your masters.”

Prepare to hand your life over. Chomsky is high-energy, keyboard-driven geekdom that will infect your brain in a manner similar to Tetris.

Following their debut effort A Few Possible Selections for the Soundtrack of Your Life, Onward Quirky Soldiers could fulfill most childhood fantasies of living a John Hughes film.

At once refreshingly upbeat and fluff-free, their sound hearkens back to The Buggles, but mercifully falls short of being a throw-back.

Almost every song on the album is a testimonial to what worked in the former era.

“Gravitate” somehow manages to be both cheerfully dark and faintly familiar. It’s The Police–but without all that creepy Tantric business.

“Straight Razor” energetically opens with “You haven’t used your last straight razor/You’re saving it for a special occasion.” The wailings of “You’re a real go-getter” are full of a ‘ I’m-sick-of-this-shit’ bravado that smiles are impossible to stifle. It’s Devo–if they had sold more than one song.

“0:15:00” successfully sells the upbeat lines “It’s only rock-thirty/ In my mind” and “It only takes fifteen minutes to rock.” It’s Elvis Costello – but All-American. All of the other tracks also deserve mention, but only so much can really be said.

Onward Quirky Soldiers is everything pop/rock should be and always was at the same time.

If The Strokes have revived the New York sound and if The Hives have revived early garage punk, then by god Chomsky is making the world safe for new wave again.

Radio can now fully embrace 1979.

4 stars