Fergus & Geronimo
Named after the rival gang leaders of Irish children from the movie War of the Buttons, Denton, TX duo Fergus & Geronimo balance Mothers of Invention psychedelia, Motown R&B, Nuggets garage, and indie rock influences. Jason Kelly and Andrew Savage met when Kelly started mixing a record for Savage’s band, the Teenage Coolkids. The two started making music on their own in 2008, and put out three singles in 2009, eventually releasing their third outing, Harder Than It's Ever Been, on Woodsist Records, home of the similarly slack lo-fi groups Wavves, Woods, and Blank Dogs. After relocating to Brooklyn, the duo put together a live touring band with rotating musicians, and Kelly and Savage went back to recording as a two-piece for their first full-length in 2010. Unlearn was released by Hardly Art in January of 2011. Funky Was the State of Affairs followed in the summer of 2012. The group's second full-length was a concept album loosely based on a fictional intergalactic dating service, and swung stylistically from Devo-informed punk to shimmery disco grooves.
© Jason Lymangrover /TiVo
© Jason Lymangrover /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released January 17, 2011 | Hardly Art
Fergus & Geronimo's debut is a weird one to be sure. For their first full-length, Jason Kelly and Andrew Savage take inspiration from early Mothers of Invention-era Frank Zappa, specifically the doo wop and ‘60s psych of We’re Only in It for the Money, and perform it in the slovenly indie rock vibe of the duo's lo-fi Woodsist and Hardly Art peers. Somehow, these clashing styles work well, as do the lapses into ramshackle ‘60s garage rock. Unsurprisingly, with its many twists and turns, Unlearn seems aimless at times, but it’s all held together with an underlying slack-jawed simplicity and knowing smirk. “Girls with English Accents” is a flippant, spot-on attempt at imitating the British Invasion, and “Wanna Know What I Would Do If I Was You?” mocks hipsters with the same biting sarcasm that Zappa used against hippies on “Who Needs the Peace Corps.” However, when they’re not incorporating flute and sax solos or taking the piss in other ways, Fergus & Geronimo specialize at playing rough-and-tumble reverberated rock & roll -- like Tyvek, or a looser version of Harlem -- and always manage to pull things together with a keen melody. This is no easy feat when you’re pushing boundaries so hard. While Savage and Kelly clearly get big kicks from genre-jumping and trying to trip out listeners, “Baby Boomer,” “Michael Kelly,” and “The World Never Stops” show that they can rock earnestly as well. © Jason Lymangrover /TiVo