All Alive

by Tight Pants Syndrome

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"Tom Stephens' long-running (and member-shuffling) power-pop combo Tight Pants Syndrome rarely lacks for material; in 2010 the quintet released the seventeen-track Fully Attractive alongside the more blustery Don't Panic EP. That year's output rivals some bands' entire catalogs. So while the appearance of more polished pop music from TPS is always welcome, this four-song EP feels a little scant by comparison, given the band's track record. (Don't worry: A full length is due by the year's end.)
The EP begins with a bang, as "Cherry Don't Quit" follows the formula of perpetual-motion music, but with a few new twists: The sawing strings give just the barest hint of baroque pop, and drummer Jeff Hess makes his vocal debut with the band. His voice gives an adenoidal but tuneful gruffness amid Jenn Malzone and Brian McClelland's more conventional harmonies. On the lead-off track, Hess proves an able pinchhitter on an already stacked lineup. Malzone and McClelland square off for the rest of the tracks, which contain some of same romantic snark as on the pair's work with Middle Class Fashion, albeit with more guitar, less piano and a lot more of McClelland's strong, high tenor. There are nuggets of pop bliss every 45 seconds on these overloaded songs -- note the Beach Boys-aping harmonies on "My Arm Hurts" -- but the formula-tinkering on "Cherry Don't Quit" is the real raison d'être for this little transmission."


released April 6, 2013


Recorded 2011/2012 in St. Louis by Paul Bordeaux & Tom Stephens
at Paul's Boutique, Raccoon Trax, & The Lightning Ranch
Cherry strings by Brien Seyle
Band photos by Steve Nagy & Brian McClelland
Album art by Brian McClelland




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Track Name: Cherry Don't Quit
Cherry Don’t Quit

Your photo shoot is a rain-out, your mascara's played out
Swimming pool is just pretend, going off the deep end
Off the rails you’re a trainwreck, but hey nobody's perfect.

Cherry don’t quit, Cherry Don’t quit, Cherry don’t quit on me tonight.

Attraction is scientific, and it's habit forming
Your lip gloss is terrific, first thing in the morning
You're most of the time, but you're not all of the time
Why can't you be all of the time for me?

Cherry don’t quit, Cherry Don’t quit, Cherry don’t quit on me tonight.

I know I push you away, when I need you close
When I need you near, can’t you be here?
Track Name: My Arm Hurts
My Arm Hurts

It never turns out like you wanted it to
Or maybe you just hadn't thought it through
Is it random or coincidence, the two of us sitting on a fence?
I needed you and you decided to dance
that's when I knew that I still had a chance.

Oooo Baby that's the sign I was waiting for, show me all the time
Train's leaving so babe you better climb aboard, now that you're mine.

There's a word that's on the tip of your tongue
Or maybe I'm just too high strung
Chances are just a roll of the dice
The two of us should still give it a try
I needed you and you looked so sincere
That's when I knew I had nothing to fear.

Oooo Baby that's the sign I was waiting for, it must be divine
We've been closer than horseshoes and hand grenades, its by design

You said, you said
Put my picture in your blue jean pockets
sunglasses on my blue eye sockets
Oh you could be the one, but still I'm not sure

I can dance if you wanted me to
Might be good for a laugh or two
We'll cut the shit and get serious
Imagine us getting serious
When I need you I won't have far to look
The night I saw you was all it took
Track Name: Baby It's Sabotage
Baby It's Sabotage

Baby it's sabotage, and it's making me a nervous wreck
You'd rather be alone, instead of trying to connect
Oh, and the morning comes and your shape has shifted
The fog has lifted, your heart's in camouflage
Baby it's sabotage.

I'm the one in the white corsage, I been waiting for you all night
I followed your vapor trail, you'd think I'd gain a little insight
Oh, like your heart is an atlas, your brain is a map
A tender trap of joy that's just a mirage
And baby it's sabotage.

I'm so sick of your entourage
They think that they've read some books
But they ain't got nothing babe
'Cept a buncha dirty looks
Oh, you say they have their uses,
But those are excuses
The kind that you can't drink away or dodge
And baby that’s sabotage