Pitchfork Internet Media
Mono Puff - It's Fun To Steal
Rating:74% (out of 100)
Some performers use side projects as an opportunity to branch out and try new and totally unexpected things. Then there's John Flansburgh. If your day job was playing in They Might Be
Giants, the quirky, simplistic pop group out of New York City, you'd probably have a side project waiting to spawn from you like Mono Puff.
Combining the earnestness of Ben Folds Five with the white boy funk of Beck, It's Fun To Steal, the band's second release, is mostly comprised of deep, grooving, heavily-tweaked songs about nothing- sort of Seinfeld meets Sly and the Family Stone.
The album begins funkily enough. Save for the title track, an arid, spacey romp espousing the virtues of the five-figner discount, the first three- fourths of the album are deeper in the pocket than Dirk Diggler.
"Mr. Hughes Says," is a sweet little number that degenerates into a Latin percussion siesta, before eventually finding the drums again. "Creepy," is effectively that, conjuring images of Steve Buscemi, and "Extra Krispy," could be culled from the "Last Days of Disco" soundtrack.
But despite its intentions, It's Fun to Steal never really crosses the line from pseudo-funk into funkadelica. Then again, maybe that is the intention. With John Flansburgh, you never know.