After owning the 2009 singles countdown here at the Finest Kiss with two singles in the top 40, Fergus & Geronimo took it easy last year with only one single released, the notable Never Satisfied on Hardly Art. It seems as though they let the iron cool a little after their slew hot singles from 2009, maybe because the duo Jason Kelly and Andrew Savage started out as a moonlighting gig from their other bands (Teenage Cool Kids and Wax Museums). Whatever the case Fergus and Geronimo are back and this time with a full album called Unlearn.
At first listen I feared my enthusiasm for Fergus & Geronimo was waning a little due to the gap between releases. I think I put the album on at least five times and couldn’t remember anything after the second song Wanna Know What I Would d If I Was You? I couldn’t figure out why this was happening. Was it because the album lacked songs with discernible hooks? Had my capricious tastes shifted that fast in a year? No, it was because the second song was so
bad difficult with it’s monotone vocal, colonial flute, and spiteful lyrics that aim at music critics or some other bad guys knee deep in the scene. Once I started skipping this song when listening to Unlearn making Girls With English Accents go straight into the soulful Powerful Lovin’ this album started to click with me. My favorite parts of Fergus & Geronimo are the songs that incorporate soul and doo-wop and those moments are sprinkled throughout the record with Powerful Lovin’ and the title track being the best examples. My second favorite part of Fergus & Geronimo is their 90’s inspired indie rock songs. Michael Kelly, Baby Don’t You Cry, and World Never Stops all mine the Pavement, and Sebadoh vein of history. My least favorite part of Fergus & Geronimo are the stranger, and based on what I’ve read their Zappa influences. I find myself reaching for the skip button when Wanna Know What I Would Do and Where the Wals Are Made of Grass come up, but that’s coming from a non-Zappa fan.
Unlearn is a varied album with many subtleties that will keep you coming back, and with a little programming or needle lifting, you can pick and choose your favorite style(s) of Fergus & Geronimo and concentrate your ears on there.