Album Review: Preteen Zenith ‘Rubble Guts & BB Eye’

maxwell barna reviews the latest from the polyphonic spree’s tim delaughter….

So… Do any of you remember that one band from about 10 years back that had that catchy little diddy called “Light and Day”? You know, the one that was used in all those commercials and some movie trailers? The band itself, The Polyphonic Spree, was always mistaken for a cult because they wore white robes in their videos and traveled around in school buses and whatnot. Well anyway, that guy — Tim DeLaughter — started a new band. And apparently, this guy’s just a musical genius. For those who don’t know, he’s also the former frontman for the 90’s psychedelic pop-rock powerhouse Tripping Daisy. (who gave us this awesome gem – feel free to blow the dust off and give it a spin).

DeLaughter teamed up with former Tripping Daisy bandmate Philip Karnats to form Preteen Zenith and record their first album, Rubble Guts & BB Eye, in Karnats’ home studio in Chicago. The record was finished up during a ten-day getaway in a backwoods cabin at the Walshtown Retreat outside of Memphis, Tenn. According to a release by Paradigm, the agency who represents Preteen Zenith, DeLaughter had originally written the album before meeting with Karnats, and it was supposed to morph into either some kind of solo album or maybe a new Polyphonic Spree, but Karnats fell in love with the project and the two built it up together.

Rubble Guts & BB Eye is a record that I really can’t quite put my finger on. I listened to every track multiple times, and some several, like Breathe and Damage Control (featuring Erykah Badu). It’s really just a catchy record that definitely has a vibe that I can’t really describe — it just kept me smiling. But I think that’s the exact impression DeLaughter and Karnats want the album to have on its listeners. The record contains a fair amount of electronic instrumentation, yet avoids the realm of overdone, tacky pop rock. It’s chock-full of melodic guitar leads intertwined with some very, very interesting vocal harmonies and choruses.

Rubble Guts & BB Eye comes out today (May 29) on DeLaughter’s own aptly-named label, Good Records Recordings. The record’s a trip; a good one. So medicate yourself whichever way you see fit, lay back, kick your feet up and enjoy this one.

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