This latest CD from Orlando band Milk Carton Superstars, “Sesame Streetcar Named Disaster” is a fun CD to listen to. It’s a great CD to just pop into the player to relax and enjoy the rock music, but there’s also more to it, bubbling below the surface. After repeated spins, the songs begin to reveal themselves and demand closer, detailed attention.
Volumes could be written about the lyrics alone. The band’s lyrics are colorful, thought provoking and entertaining. Many of the songs feature lyrics that paint a crystal clear picture in the listener’s mind such as “A Christmas tree strung with cancelled checks” and “The sugar palace in my heart/is really just a burnt Pop-Tart.” Then there is the tale of possibly an anti-superhero in “Zero Man.” There are also some visually descriptive lyrics that only those in Orlando would know, “The last pigeon in America stands next to me in the Wall Street Cantina” and “There used to be a pay phone on Silver Star Road/you had to talk in code.”
On the surface, the lyrics seem light-hearted and whimsical, but at the same time they make one wonder if there isn’t a deeper meaning behind them, or maybe they are just wide open to interpretation. A lyric in the first song, “Bubble Gun,” describe it best, “I received cryptic advice/vague and yet somehow concise.” Lyrics don’t get much more whimsical than in “Sunny 66” with “Our parents told their parents something something peace and harmony” and “I pray the Lord to dig the Beatles/I pray the Stones my soul to keep.”
“Sesame Streetcar Named Disaster” has a treasure trove of uncommon instruments and sounds intermingling with the music, enhancing each song. Sure, most CDs list guitar, bass, drums, piano, synthesizer, organ, tambourine, banjo, string arrangements and possibly sitar, bongos and shakers, but on this CD, it doesn’t stop there. Along with all those instruments, the songs on “Sesame Streetcar Named Disaster” also feature the theremin, a vibra-slap, handclaps, a scream, a dropped amplifier, a doll laugh, a tiny piano and something just labeled sound effects.
“Sesame Streetcar Named Disaster” is a terrific addition to any CD collection, whether the music fan is interested in just listening to good music or excited about uncovering hidden gems in the music and lyrics. Produced and engineered by Justin Beckler, “Sesame Streetcar Named Disaster” is available on Bandcamp.