Some quick facts about It’s Time!, the zippy compendium of singles and B-sides from caUSE co-MOTION!:
- Exclamation points on the cover: 5
- Shortest song length: 1 minute, 16 seconds
- Longest song length: 1 minute, 45 seconds
- Total running time: 21 minutes
As if that hyperactive band name didn’t make it obvious enough, these dudes hit hard, and they hit fast. Their slash-and-burn approach to pop music makes the works of the Buzzcocks look baroque by comparison.
The not-so-secret recipe? Take one smack-happy rhythm section, add one snarly rhythm guitar, plus one blissed-out, chiming lead guitar, and apply reverb generously.
Some tasty morsels emerge. “Baby Don’t Do It” takes the torch from “What Do I Get?” and sprints off with it into the night. The guitar hook of “Take a Look” defines the band’s bratty spirit, and “Who’s Gonna Care?” might just beat the Vampire Weekend lads at their own Afropop-jacking game.
But even with such a blistering pace, by the end of the compilation the band’s bag of tricks has gone empty. Singer Arno’s voice box is the first thing to wear out its welcome. I do not demand virtuosity or even tunefulness from my punk singers, but a little charisma couldn’t hurt this guy. Alternating between pouting and sneering about relationships just doesn’t do it for me anymore.
So can caUSE co-MOTION! ever escape the comfortable niche that it has already mastered? That’s probably a question for another day. The 14 tracks gathered here are content to blaze for the moment, leaving only a lingering sense of whiplash behind. Ah, youth.