Charlie Slick Pass the Time Machine

Charlie Slick could conceivably fit quite snugly into Toronto’s newly minted Bad Bands Revolution. "Pass the Time Machine” subscribes to the Bad Bands’ emphasis on self expression and spirit over musical skill and songcrafting. Well arranged breakdowns and lush choruses have no place in the Bad Bands’ world. Instead, the structured hierarchy of popular music is laid waste by the notion that someone banging two pots together while blowing on a kazoo is just as valid a contribution to music as Sufjan Stevens’s latest opus. That being said, it may be a little early to mention PTTM in the same breath as Illinois. The album is a Nintendo-inspired, Casio synth lo-lo-fi romp, featuring Slick’s cheeringly amateurish vocals. The liner notes proudly proclaim that "there are no guitars on this album,” and PTTM wears its influences on its sleeve — bad movies, Klaus Nomi and, of course, all manner of synthesisers. Buoyed by some surprisingly dexterous synth flourishes, some of these tunes are pure catchy, kitschy fun, particularly the flag-waving dance anthem "I Know You Love My Synthesizers.” This flighty giddiness, though, cannot be sustained over 14 tracks. The sporadic instrumentals that dot the album are largely filler material, and PTTM would be significantly more palatable if it were filed down to a six or seven-song EP. Much like the Toronto Bad Bands, Slick is probably best appreciated in a live setting, where audience interaction would be the ideal catalyst for releasing your insecure inner ’80s child. (Non-Existent)