How Can a Man Be Tougher Than the World?
The Multi-Purpose Solution (Mint 400)
Mint 400 is a Clifton-based record label with a roster of some of the Garden State’s most underappreciated and challenging bands (Fairmont and Any Day Parade, just to name two). So it’s a natural fit for the Multi-Purpose Solution, a Jersey City art-punk outfit fronted by a near-madman whose voice sounds like a cross between Tom Waits at his most inebriated and an avalanche in the Appalachians. The label is making MPS recordings — including “How Can a Man Be Tougher Than the World?”, the group’s moody, deranged magnum opus — widely available for the first time. Guitar riffs seesaw, scrape and elbow for position, song sections shuffle, rhythms start and stop abruptly, and the irascible Jim Teacher bellows about Sonic Youth, crucifixion and the Texas border patrol. Initially given a limited release in 2005, this album garnered a cult following among the musically courageous and fans of general Jersey weirdness. At once spontaneous-sounding and as meticulously mapped out as a math-rock set, “Tougher” is the work of true originals — pub crawlers burdened by obsessions and prone to blinding flashes of clarity.
— Tris McCall
Posted by Jim Teacher