Sound — 4
These Are the Good Time People is The Presidents of the USA's fifth studio album, and first with Andrew McKeag on Basitar instead of Dave Dederer. The most notable aspect of PUSA's music is their use of the Basitar and Guitbas. Although sound-wise these instruments aren't that noticeably different to your average guitar and bass sound, the fact that they are in use adds a little more interest to the album. There are some attractive instrumentals on These Are the Good Times People. Such as on songs 'Ladybug', which sounds quite country-gone-rock, and 'Flame Is Love' which makes use of clever Guitbas-Basitar riffs, horns, and irregular drumming. Both Chris Ballew and Andrew McKeag have great voices somewhat reminiscent of Everclear frontman Ark Alexakis which adds quality to the sound of the album. In general, These Are the Good Times People is less heavy and less interesting than the Seattle band's former releases, and as a result has a very average sound to it. The problem is that all the songs sound a bit too similar to each other. For every good song like 'Mixed Up S.O.B', there are at least two songs which to some extent bore you. An example of such a song would be 'Truckstop Butterfly' which is mainly two minutes of pathetic lyrics and a constant, dull, drum beat that never changes tempo. 'Loose Balloon' is another song which is exemplary for boring you to death. In fact, it's the kind of song that would drive someone on the verge of suicide into killing themselves: dull and slow with dreary lyrics.
Lyrics — 6
The lyrics are the highlight of the album. The only problem is that there is an overload of humorous lyrics on the album. To some effect this is good, but if you're listening to the album all at once, it starts to get on your nerves a little. An example of such witty lyrics would be on fourth track 'More Bad Times': You twisted your ankle, I carried you; You got a divorce, I married you; You fell off a cliff so I buried you; I wish there were more bad times to see you through. But good clever lyrics like this are minimal on the album. Most of the album comprises of stupidity such as on second track 'Ladybug': Maggots do a dance in the meat when the meat goes sour, and on 'So Lo So Hi' which is a love song between a fish and a bird. Pointless? About as pointless as trying to rhyme the word 'orange'.
Overall Impression — 3
Although first impressions of These Are the Good Times People may seem entertaining, the witty lyrics soon become annoying, and the instrumentals on each song seem to blend into one. This is the kind of album that, no matter what the RIAA say, should be downloaded rather than bought as there are really only four songs out of the fourteen that are worth listening to again (Mixed Up S.O.B, So Lo So Hi, Poor Turtle, Deleter). Halfway through the album you start questioning the point and worth of some of the songs, which in itself is a problem. It is only when you cannot think of an answer to the aforementioned question that you start to realize that your time would be better spent plotting against the kid in kindergarten who didn't tell you that eating glue would give you a stomach-ache.