De-Evolution is Real!

Wiggly World

Published

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Chris: Alright, we’re getting into a wiggly world in 3, 2, 1, now!

Jon: Starts right off with a hopping-in-place tone.

Chris: Yeah, spring noises.

Jon: All this buildup for that sick riff.

Chris: Guitar tone that almost sounds like Q&A.

Jon: Kind of an inverted Satisfaction.

Chris: Yeah, right in the pocket.

Jon: Yeah. Another didactic song outlining their beliefs.

Chris: Yeah. “The fittest shall survive.”

Jon: But the unfit may live. Modern life does not invoke Darwin’s laws. So do as you like.

Chris: Lol yep, there you go. It’s never straight up and down.

Jon: I also love when they do the “let’s all try out this line.”

Chris: That’s a big Devo buzz-phrase, I feel.

Jon: Definitely.

Chris: The chorus is so damn fun.

Jon: Yeah this song is fun as hell / always was for me as a child before I ever thought about it.

Chris: Yeah, super danceable, especially for something that has this many stop/starts. But it has a linear build still somehow.

Jon: Pogo-able for all the punks and the skids.

Chris: Yeah.

Jon: Speaking of which they are all about brevity still. Get in, get out.

Chris: Oh yeah. That screechy sound in the background, too.

Jon: Slay a bit, don’t overstay your welcome.

Chris: All these songs are under 3 minutes so far.

Jon: Which itself feels like an Eno-ish restriction. A less than oblique strategy.

Chris: Yeah, it’s like they took what they wanted and moved on to a new sound. Did they have a famous producer on this record? Because the sound layers are amazing. Bucking pop song structures while still being poppy.

Jon: That’s a good question. I wanna say they self-produced? But I’m not sure. Ken Scott, I guess.

Chris: Yeah just saw that. Except for Secret Agent Man. Which was self produced.

Jon: Yeah. Ken Scott also worked with Bowie, assisted on Beatles records. Shit man.

Chris: Oh damn. Well, Ken Scott is no slouch, then.

Jon: Oh man, he did the Missing Persons record. That explains a lot. I love that one. Haha. Here’s to you, Ken.

Chris: I get why Brian Eno produced Devo, and I know Q&A was a hit, but I’m still impressed Devo bagged Ken Scott for this. Despite not knowing who Ken Scott was 3 minutes ago.

Jon:

“Wow… Ken Scott!” –you.

Chris: Haha.

Jon: But yeah this is kinda wild, looking at the resume.

Chris: Sounds damn great. I think wiggly world blends weird synth and traditional guitar pop more than the previous songs.

Jon: Yeah, it feels the most linked to the last album. The three before it feels very New.

Chris: Right, well the 2 instrumentals are obvious. There weren’t any on Q&A. Plus being all/mostly all synth.

Jon: Yeah.

Chris: Clockout the tone is a bit different. But wiggly world the guitar tone is similar to Q&A. But at the same time has more layers of weird other synth stuff. That does not sound like Q&A to my ear. And somehow it works.

Jon: Yeah absolutely! That checks out. The album, so far, feels unimpeachable.

Chris: Yep. That fact that this weird mix of things works blows me away. Chris:** Like, there are so many opportunities for this to suck.

Jon: Yeah it’s definitely impressive / also great that they managed to sell records & stay on a major.

Chris: Yeah! I think that’s a bit of the times and a bit of them. Like, they had the goods to stay on a major. But also new wave was a thing that they were able to ride. Even tho I don’t think of Devo in the same universe as The Knack. I think music listeners at the time did lump them together, at least in terms of, “hey, I don’t want to listen to my older brother’s music, and punk is dead, so what can I call my own?”

Jon: Yeah they were shape shifters of a sort.

Chris: I also realize I am imparting thoughts on a whole generation I am not part of, so grain of salt. Yeah, Devo are shape shifters, but shape shifters that tell you exactly who they are.

Jon: True. Charlatans who are very up front about it.