|Andy Dixon's first trek into the world of solo artistry finds himself finger picking guitars into his computer, only to process them into a mangled, yet beautiful collage of sounds. Just as the name suggests, "I Am Compltley Oprationa l" plays with the idea of mistakes; the sound of malfunctioning modernism; the sound of broken processors; the sound of naive sound manipulation. But underneath the electronic tom foolery of this album lies a foundation of solid pop music that could only be written by a songwriter with a lot of experience. This is the skeleton of the entire album, and the glue that holds it all together: The maturity of the writing.
"Occasionally that CD comes along that is almost bizarrely unique, practically defying description due to its out-of-the-ordinary construction and hard to quantify affect on you. The Epidemic is certainly not a band that belongs on decidedly punk Ache Records, but that seems to be the point. The solo side project for Andy Dixon of d.b.s., and he's chosen a peculiar sonic path. "I Am Compltely Oprationa l" is a quirky debut release, combining an indie rock sensibility with vague electronic flashes and jilting experimentation with arrangements. Tracks start in one direction, abandon it and its tempo, and evolve into something else, usually better, only to flutter and fade over time from that structure to begin a new track. It's very engrossing, slightly confusing, and, ultimately, utterly creative. Vocal harmonies are delicate and slight, but beautiful; guitar lines blend together, playfully, then dissapear; electronic pulses, beeps, whistles, and howls come in, go out, feedback, and otherwise convolute, but never in a distracting way. Dixon's voice sounds like a combination of Blair Shehan (The Jealous Sound, Knapsack) and Ben Folds. It works well for this music, and for these lyrics: 'The West Coast As A Robot,' while featuring the robot-voiced sample that gives the album its title, also features the lines "Vancouver lifts like a cancer recovery" and "You don't have to make a hospital bed/cut her dosage in half." Someone had a horrible time in British Columbia. But still, the music is very sweet in a slightly disturbing way, full of gorgeous melodies and steady rhythms. This is the logical extension of emo: add some electronics, still make the kids sway at the shows, and punish them with lyrics of fury that are understated. Even the playful poke at the band's moniker how it relates to another well known band whose title is the anithesis of theirs, 'Robert Smith Vs. Crosstown Music,' is extremely tongue and cheek with a killer guitar line and synthesizer horns (plus the line "I'd listen to Disintregration if I owned it on vinyl, but the record store never seems to have it in"). It really is quite lovely, even if a bit short, and I look forward to hearing more from The Epidemic." -