First Act discuss Lance Armstrong, Iraq on first album

Allison Bugg

The one thing I can say about Public Transportation, Kent-based band The First Act’s recently released CD, is it made me laugh.

When I first sat down to listen to this 12-song disc — and keep in mind I knew very little about the band — I couldn’t believe my ears. If you’re looking for something with the best musical talent, I’m sorry to say that this band is not it.

I did, however, jump on the group’s Web site to investigate exactly what it is this band is trying to accomplish.

And I think I found it.

The three that make up the band are Joe Drummer, Tim Hollister and Mike McKeon, and they make no claims to musical skillmanship but rather possess the ability to entertain and stimulate with their lyrically focused songs.

One paragraph describes the band’s use of a children’s drum set in which its “placement on stage creates a physical and symbolic stand against Big America.”

It makes sense to me now and from listening to the CD, I’m going to conclude that this group is going for more of a comedy routine than a musical one.

While the acoustic guitar rhythms are sweet and smooth throughout the album, the vocals are considerably out of tune, making it hard to appreciate the music behind them.

The disc begins with a song entitled “Tour de Lance,” about none other than six-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong.

This fun and spunky song is as much about the cyclist as it is about a race, declaring “Lance Armstrong, you’ve got it all wrong / Your name should be Lance Legstrong.”

Another song called “Public Transportation” is about using buses and subways rather than driving a car and polluting the air. The percussion, which sounds like more of a hand drum, is sharp and inviting, as I found myself tapping my foot up and down.

Other titles include “New York, Chicago, LA, Bentonville?” about the excessive expansion of Wal-Marts all across America, and “Floating by Fallujah,” which is a song about Saddam Hussein and the war in Iraq.

After listening to the CD a couple of times through, it’s apparent to me that many of the songs begin in the same manner. The introduction consists of a soft acoustic melody with a catchy drum beat joining. The vocals are often out of tune and have a similar style from song to song.

While I don’t have much appreciation for this band musically, I must commend the members for writing such sarcastic and entertaining lyrics.

Contact local music reporter Allison Bugg at [email protected].