‘Kudos to You’: These presidents appreciate their residents

Frank Lillig

The Presidents of the United States of America decided to produce another studio album, number six since 1995, entitled “Kudos To You.” The band started a PledgeMusic project to kick-start the album and a week later they met their goal. The album contains old favorites from early releases that fans might recognize, bonus tracks from other CDs and brand new material straight from lead singer Chris Ballew. When the band went in to begin recording, it had nothing. By December, it had finally produced an album worth listening to. Here are its gems:
“Good Morning Tycoon”
This track keeps in true PUSA fashion with a quaint, cute guitar riff and simple drums with lyrics to match, all while satirizing a particular lifestyle. The chorus serenades listeners with “Good morning tycoon, surrounded by solid oak and silver spoons” and “You wanted the sun, you settled for the silver moon.” This track was originally recorded for The Giraffe’s “Zero Friction” album which was another project led by Ballew.
“Crown Victoria”
This track provides a nice reprieve from the heavy drive and fast tempo throughout the rest of the CD. A slower pace and lilting rhythm with a sensual guitar solo at the end lets listeners in on a side of Presidents that doesn’t come out often. “And you make me feel so good to drive, the dash board is alive” is definitely a sentiment that any young driver feels while cruising at night. This song is brand new material and it is sure to get people swaying.
“Finger Monster”
This song, written back in 1996, is as old as the band, but has not been recorded until now. It leads with a bass riff, then driving guitar chords over the verse. The chords then drop us into a calm chorus of “Finger monster I am scared of you, scared of you” with a staccato guitar style.
“Truckstop on the Moon”
This is a song that PUSA often do acoustically. The slow tempo, quiet drums and simple guitar riff over carefully crafted lyrics provide a sweet transition back into the fantasy that the group is so known and loved for. With lyrics like “Houston control, cancel the countdown and send us all home” and “Couldn’t figure out what happened, realized we landed at the truck stop of the moon,” one can’t help but have no idea what they are saying, yet feel exactly what they mean.
The album is a juicy amalgamation of old songs with new lyrics, straight old songs and entirely unknown songs. It’s a masterful tribute to the early nineties and keeps in PUSA tradition with its melodic yet driving guitar and simple, metaphoric lyrics. The band is currently not on tour, and this may be its last album. Listeners should also purchase Presidents of the United States’s live album “Thanks for the Feedback.”