Album review

Make It Better Later

I really can’t get a handle on this record. It really does nothing for me but it doesn’t irk me enough to hate it either. Instead, it largely provokes apathy in me. Over fourteen songs, Make It Better’s unoriginal hybrid of ska-punk-pop sounds a little too samey. It’s well enough played and sung and the addition of a violin gives the sound a little variety but too often it sounds generic, restrained and to polished to really have an impact on my ears. Time signatures change, guitars soar and thrash, all just where you expect them to. ‘Eric’, a tribute to Southpark’s rotund juvenile megalomaniac Eric Cartman is entertaining enough, as is ‘The Filler Song’. Equally though, the lyrics to ‘The Filler Song’ highlight the contradictions inherent in Make It Better’s stance. Lines like ‘This is the filler song / So please don’t sing along’ is just too knowing to be radical. Make It Better seem to want to have their cake and eat it, making arch comments on the pop process while fully participating in it. It isn’t even as sophisticated a dilemma as The Clash singing about ‘Complete Control’ while signing their lives away to a multi-national conglomerate. It’s simply mocking bands for bulking out albums with inconsequential crap while doing something similar. Unfortunately most of the filler takes up the bulk of this uninspiring album. Cartman, ever the warped genius, sums things up at the end of track three where he’s sampled saying ‘There, that’s three more songs we’ve written already. Your style of music is so easy it doesn’t require any thought at all’. Ouch! There are some nice touches in places but overall this really is music by numbers.