In the crazy world of band names, where Men are women and Women and Girls are men, where Goblin Cock is not a joke but Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin is a joke, we should know better than to judge a band for purely superficial reasons. The problem comes when bands embrace that kind of gimmickry. Such is the case with the William Blakes, Danish imports who have named their American debut after the Wayne Coyne and have made an album that sounds neither like Romantic poetry nor the Flaming Lips, it becomes all but impossible to view the album without your tongue firmly implanted in your cheek.
From that starting point, we get Wayne Coyne, possibly the stupidest “intelligent” dance-rock album ever written. There are no traces of cohesion at either the album level or the song level. It’s never in short supply of attitude, but it’s very rarely in supply of anything interesting to say. The album’s occasional highlights are at best rehashed reworkings of LCD Soundsystem songs, and I feel fully comfortable both assuming that this band has heard and intentionally ripped off LCD Soundsystem. The most emblematic track is “Reality,” which sounds like what “All My Friends” would sound like if you took away all the precision and awkwardly tried to mix
in conventions of every generic indie band of the past five years. It’s hard to throw so much shit at your audience and then try to win them back with the occasional melody and decent vocal harmony.
I’m pretty willing to declare Wayne Coyne a joke of an album, but the joke is more on the William Blakes. Their issue isn’t just that they’re annoying musically, but, worse yet, that they’re not really funny, either. This is what happens when obsessing over a scene comes before the music.