reviewed by Michael Thomas
I’ve never been much into partying, at least at the type of parties where people sit and drink long into the night. But I’d have to imagine that Caity Fisher’s Party Games is a good lyrical representation of what a prolonged night of partying is like.
This album is ugly in the best way — nothing is hiding or obscured. Fisher is blunt in her lyrics and doesn’t shy away from less-than-pleasant images: the blood-stained bathtub in “Let’s Get Wasted” or the lyric “your velvet might be greasy but it’s garbage when you’re nervous” in opener “Panty Stain.”
Paired with these lyrics—which seem to depict all the highs and lows (there are a lot of lows) of partying—is the kind of guitar-pop that Edmonton does so well. It’s hard not to compare the hazy, garage-y sound to that of Jessica Jalbert/Faith Healer (who was even bandmates with Fisher in the Tee-Tahs), but that doesn’t make the music any less satisfying.
Whether it’s hazy, laid-back guitar or something a bit more fast-paced you want, Party Games has you covered. The aforementioned “Panty Stain” has some really groovy guitar lines, while the fairly graphic “I Love It/Yeah Right” blisters through a slew of images (“all of my guts in the tank/and all of my cream in the drain”) to capture the height of party activity.
It makes perfect sense that “Feel Good” is the musically smoothest song of them all—it’s a drug high, and from that point onward things get weird. “Wet Cheese” (another wonderful image there) revels in a grunge-y sound, and “Party Games” is nice and subdued until it isn’t, one minute later.
By “Spilled” and “Life of the Party,” the album’s final two tracks, the songs have almost warped into some kind of psych-folk hybrid, as Fisher’s lyrics seem to both long for soundly reject the party atmosphere. It’s kind of a perfect way to end an album that focuses so much on partying—despite what can happen, people still go. They’re a siren song. But unlike parties, Party Games won’t leave you with a hangover.
Top Tracks: “Panty Stain”; “Party Games”
Rating: Strong Hoot (Good)