Corporate MF
"The Royal We"

(Omega Point Records 2004)Corporate MF - The Royal We

The workplace oriented lyrics of Corporate MF's debut album, "The Royal We," tackle everything from the interview process to sucking up to the boss. And while the lyrics are humorous, there is something unsettlingly realistic about them. Headed by Nicholas Dye, one half of The Mystechs, Corporate MF has a post-punk feel plus some electronics and, like Experimental Audio Research, they have an affinity for the (now) retro Speak 'n Spell toy.

Going straight to the action, "Thirds Divide The Day" is an up tempo and likable toe tapper that uses just vocals, bass and drums for some of the action, a setup that returns throughout a number of the other tracks like the catchy "Head Honcho," which has a real rock feel, especially with its organ solo. Continuing the underground party atmosphere, "Street Dancers" is sprinkled with the sounds from old video games and sees Dye singing "we got our secretaries dancing round in g-strings." The first of two tight instrumentals, "Cook The Books" taps the Speak "˜N Spell toy while "Office Fantasies" is up tempo and energetic, hurrying all over the place.

Meanwhile, "Body Utility," on the other hand, begins simply and picks up some momentum while making references not only to "Spinal Tap" ("turn it up to eleven") but also J. S. Mill's utilitarian greatest happiness principle. Made up of a part reminiscent of The Dead Kennedys and another part with a melodic chorus, "Personality Profile" is a stand out on "The Royal We," catchy and worthy of multiple repeat listenings. "The Royal We" offers some nice variety; the album's second strong instrumental incorporates strings into the mix. Corporate MF closes the album with their darker sounding and electronic "Mission Statement."

Memorable and fun, "The Royal We" gets as much from the strong instrumentation as it gets character and tone from Dye's vocals. Corporate MF are not just another band pissed off at 9-to-5 jobs and the corporate-run world, they are more subtle -- not simply raging, so to speak, against the machine -- and more entertaining, in their portrayal of the rat race. "The Royal We" is a focused and notable debut.

B+