From their name alone it’s easy to pick out that there’s an undeniable quirkiness to Portland trio Age/Sex/Occupation. Though I bet their name also gives more headaches to poster designers and printers than indecipherable black metal logos. The band refuse to follow trends and play music ranging from soul to pop to gritty blues. The promo sticker on the CD states “Age Sex Occupation is a three-piece featuring soul classics and psychedelic blues rock. Giving you a little David Bowie “blue eyed soul” or Cake raised on 3rd wave ska, via Cajun Motown”.
The band start the album with an informative cheerfully catchy poppy hook-laden bluesy number complete with female backing vocals named “Dirt isn’t Dirty”. The use of female backing vocals is also present in the keyboard heavy Joe Jackson styled “Volcano” and “Glass Slippers”. The comparison to Cake makes sense not only because that band’s drummer, Tod Roper plays on every track on “The Right Side of The Fence” but tracks like “Hide and Seek” come across as a much more upbeat version of that band. The repetition of the line “I will survive” in “Hide and Seek” furthers the comparison to Cake. There’s keyboard madness towards the end of “Things You Left Behind”. “Zombie” is a fast rock song with a slow chorus that bears no resemblance to The Cranberries hit of the same name.
It’d be easy to suggest that the major talent of the band is singer, Daniel Weiskopf as he plays both guitar and keyboards as well as writing all the lyrics although with bassist Justin Keith and drummer Joey McAllister are certainly no slouches. The rhythm section is unpredictable and great at taking a listener on a ride full of twists and turns as Age Sex Occupation don’t just go for standard rock beats.
A band that goes against trends always get the thumbs here so I’d recommend getting this album as it stands out because it’s simply unlike so many releases around at the moment. While I see the length of the band’s name as a negative point, my interest was piqued in And You Will Know Us By The Trail of The Dead for that very reason so it may well work in their favour. It'd be interesting to see what sort of crowd they draw when they play live.
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