Tony Molina: Dissed and Dismissed – It’s 1994 again in the rock and roll community, and the apathy is as enfleecing as the flannel. With Pavement-spawned slackedelia lining the blogwaves and Parquet comprising rock’s once-stoneclad royal court, you could say it pays to be pathetic.
Stepping out from the iron entrapment of his hardcore project Caged Animal (not to be confused with minimalist synth-pop’s Caged Animals), Tony Molina takes this lesson to heart on his quick-and-dirty debut Dissed and Dismissed, a terse collection of power slacker bummers recently re-released by the ever-indifferent Slumberland Records. Clocking in at an overwhelmingly-palatable eleven minutes, Molina’s dozen downers combine the boisterousness of early Weezer with the heavy conversing guitars of Dinosaur Jr., cementing the impressive riffage with Stephen Malkmus’ legendary careless vocals.
Though none of the tracks exceed the one-minute-and-thirty-two-second mark, Molina manages to pack a heavy punch into just about every song. From the catchy sad-sack openers ‘Nowhere to Go’ and ‘Change My Ways’ (“all my friends like me more when I’m not around,” Molina proclaims from the get-go) to the highlight riff-and-squeal Dino Jr. offspring ‘See Me Through’ and ‘Don’t Come Back,’ there are few surprises on Dissed and Dismissed once you accept the fact that the Bay Area hardcore wunderkind has joined the neo-slacker elite.
Molina does manage to squeeze a few curve balls in there, though, namely the anticlimactic build-up ‘Nothing I Can Do,’ the ironically soothing ‘Sick Ass Riff,’ and the acoustic cover of Guided By Voices’ ‘Wandering Poet Boy.’ Each cut seems highly unnecessary as an interlude on an album of interlude-length tracks, but reminds us of Molina’s versatility as a musician, as well as his wealth of quintessential 90′s-alt influences.
Despite his treasure trove of tether-woven early alt-rock stimulus, Molina proves unique in being one growling frontman short of a grunge project and one heart-aching acoustic strummer shy of a folk group. Admittedly there’s not much new ground covered on Dissed and Dismissed, yet Molina creates a certain freshness in a subgenre as musty as the moth-chewed flannels recently unearthed from your parents’ basement, and with a record shorter than your average Godspeed! ballad there’s no time for such a dismal fate…8.2/10
‘Don’t Come Back’