Giving It 54% is the debut cassette album from Springfield Missouri-based band, Wölframandhartiger. The artists describe themselves as “two professional thumb wrestlers.” I don’t know much about the sport, but the manual dexterity involved should at least theoretically translate to some interesting music. In addition to digital format, Giving It 54% available as a limited run cassette (which firmly establishes the release’s indie cred).
With song titles like Mothman Prophecies and Castor Troy(named after Nicholas Cage’s iconic character from the 90’s film, Face/Off), you just can’t go wrong. The album is filled with these kinds of clever pop culture references, which are incorporated rather artfully. Containing 14 fun-filled tracks, there’s quite a bit of material on this release, too much to cover in this space. Musically, the songs blend elements from a wide variety of genres. They include synthwave, rock (various flavors), alternative, country, spoken word poetry, etc. My favorite track on the album is Representative, a peppy and melodic indie pop gem. The song features a voiceover portrayal of a disgruntled customer speaking with a customer service representative over the phone.
The presentation in Giving It 54% is creative and entertaining. While the artists obviously like to have fun and don’t take themselves too seriously, the humor works in this album because the music is actually enjoyable and the skill level is there. I’d recommend this to anyone who likes quirky and offbeat music. Those who pick up on the random references will appreciate it more, but there’s something for everyone. Giving It 54% is performance art in compact cassette form.
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