Alternative rock’s masters of nerd-dom, They Might Be Giants, have released the latest preview of their upcoming LP BOOK, ‘Part of You Wants to Believe Me’.
BOOK, apart from being the band’s 23rd album, is also a 144-page actual book to enjoy the John’s clever wordplay in a new medium. The wittiest writers this side of the Mississippi, John Linnell and John Flansburgh have turned four decades of minutia, anthropomorphism, anxiety, science fiction, science fact, and unreliable narrators into an art form, always pairing the results with catchy melodies and just the right amount of silliness.
I understand that the universal love of They Might Be Giants as one of the greatest bands of all time is not, in fact, as universal as I might believe it to be in my heart. Some will find them too silly, too verbose, too unserious, and too clever for their own good. These are the people who don’t know how to have fun. Because truly, there is nothing more fun than either a They Might Be Giants album or a They Might Be Giants show.
Who doesn’t want to sing along with about killing time-travelling assassins while synthesisers play along to bass clarinet toots (‘I Am Alone’), rock out to orchestra instruments taking over their human controllers (‘Stone Cold Coup D’etat’), or get followed by a possible fictional scarecrow with impeccable mimicry skills (‘Where Your Eyes Don’t Go’)? The topics covered in TMBG songs are just about the most varied in all of music, and yet they still know how to play exciting rock and roll with catchy earworms to ground it all. That, my dear reader, is a skill few possess.
Today I was interviewing Parquet Courts bassist Sean Yeaton, and our conversations about the band’s new album Sympathy for Life got derailed when we both started to geek out over Nanobots, TMBG’s 16th studio album. That’s perhaps the greatest power of They Might Be Giants: uniting people of all different creeds and codes over a shared feeling of, and complete embrace of, utter geekiness. Being a nerd is nothing to be ashamed of, but you feel a bit better about your nerdiness when you have other nerds to share it with. There’s no better uniter of a nerd than Brooklyn’s finest.
Check out the audio for ‘Part of You Wants to Believe Me’ down below. BOOK will be released on November 12.