It is difficult to say exactly what David Garza is going for with his second major label LP Overdub. Whatever it is, he doesn”t get close.
In the first cut off the album, “Drone,” he can”t stop repeating the mindless chorus, “and now it”s just a drone drone” in a Backstreet Boy croon over a loop that sounds lifted from the last Fat Boy Slim album.
In “Say Baby,” he comes off as a poor impersonation of Beck by throwing together every unrelated rhyming noun that exists. For example, a typical lyric entails, “sweetie pie sugar bunches panties/black panthers Zapatistas/clueless klannies/puppy dog pretty boy tattoo kiss thy left shoulder/poor Jesus still trying to crossover.” Somehow, he attempts to also use the phrases “dub lingo” and “DJs won”t spin your jam unless you say baby baby baby” (which he then proceeds to say repeatedly), in a serious fashion.
Yes all this in a song supposedly criticizing the bad music that gets played on the radio and questioning a personal lack of airplay. Ironically, it only resonates as an answer to why Garza has a fundamental lack of bandwidth. It is, sadly enough, because he has a fundamental lack of talent. On top of all this, everybody knows that the best way to get those “DJs” to “spin” your “jam” is to write a song criticizing the radio business. Hey, it sure worked great for Elvis Costello.
It only gets better.
The third track, “God”s Hands,” brings music that sounds like second-rate Aerosmith (for heavens sake, can”t he at least steal his riffs from good bands?) and Garza reaching for a Joseph Arthur quality with his voice. Unfortunately, he”s not intelligent enough to pull either one off.
“Blow My Mind” and “Alone” are the requisite “alternative punky” tracks. “Blow My Mind” actually isn”t that bad. A unique quality emerges in Garza”s falsetto that for once doesn”t sound completely forced. Additionally, he seems to expand on this natural heavy vibrato on “Crown of Thorns,” “Too Much” and “Keep On Crying,” where he begins to sound like a funkier Jeff Buckley with considerably worse lyrics. However, he overuses this gimmick in songs like “Bloodsuckers.”
It”s rather sad to see a voice that has so much interesting potential wasted in awful lyrics and trying to be the newest artsy darling. Unfortunately, this seems to be about all that Overdub actually accomplishes.