Jason Trachtenburg Revolutions per Minute

There is a sense of anarchy to this album, which is both ingratiating and endearing. From the cover photography - which features Jason in green fatigues, slinging an acoustic over his shoulder as though it were a howitzer, it's clear that Jason is a freedom fighter who doesn't trust the powers that be. Trust me, this guy could be the cover child for Adbusters magazine. There are songs here about the stupefying effects of advertising, and a ditty aptly titled "No Antenna in Ravenna," concerning the unwelcome erection of a cell phone tower. Musically, it's an occasionally plodding stew of acoustic strumming that's augmented by violin, piano and accordion, all delivered in an uninhibited, folksy style. It is Jason's nasal geek whine that commands most of the attention, though. Admittedly, there are times I wished he would just shut up already, but on balance I found lines like "tuna snarling behind the wheels of infrastructure" to be both affecting and revealing, in a Dadaist sort of way. Far from merely an annoying rant, this album consists of strange, three-minute encapsulations of all that is wrong with the world, expressed in packaged sound bites of sarcasm and wit. In short, Revolutions Per Minute is worth a listen, if only to remind us that the W.T.O. is still calling the shots and freedom is not something to be taken for granted. (Orange)