It's the same old story... boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy mopes until his buddies can't take it anymore and drag him out for guy's night. Later, boy meets new girl, boy's psycho ex-girlfriend screws things up, boy contemplates love and Mexican food...we've all been there before.
This is the story line for the album Saturday Night just released by Cincinnati's The Infinity Ball.
The Infinity Ball is comprised of Rick Reed [lead vocals/guitar], Tom Jansing [drums], John Stickney [guitar/vocals] and John Hoerr [bass/vocals]. The foursome create high-energy prog-pop with excellent vocal harmonies and a quirky sense of humor - you may want to think of them as Cincinnati's answer to Barenaked Ladies.
Saturday Night is the second full-length release by The Infinity Ball, and the 12-track album reads as a chronology of misadventure with such titles as "Let's Go," "Super Psycho Ex-Girlfriend," "Lament at The Taco Bell" and "Will You Remember Me?" Presented as a kind of concept album, Saturday Night spins a twisted yarn of love, loss, liquor and nachos.
The CD also comes with a 14-page bonus graphic novel (with artwork by Mike Schroeck and story by Rick Reed) that helps to illustrate this sad and desperate tale.
Musically, what The Infinity Ball succeed at most is displaying a well-balanced repertoire of themes and abilities. They are equally adept at jazzy prog-rock and Chili Peppers-like funk rock as they are at heavy waltz ballads and lighthearted pop, all the time balancing out with well-rehearsed and polished harmonies.
Sadly, poor production can often kill a good album. Recorded and engineered at Group Effort Studios, the overall sound of the album is thin and washed-out, particularly the drum tracks*. In songs where the guitars are supposed to rock out, like "Super Psycho Ex-Girlfriend" and "Escape," they feel overly compressed and fail to cut through. Fortunately, in the lighter and more acoustic tracks like "The Girl" and the beginning of "Will You Remember Me?," the vocals are well-presented and really carry the weight of the music.
*Admittedly, the album does sound better through headphones/earbuds than through conventional speakers.
If what you are looking for is a well-earned night out with friends and chance to let loose and enjoy some super-fun good-time music, then seek out The Infinity Ball when and wherever possible.
Saturday Night by The Infinity Ball is available from CD Baby.