New Jersey's B**tards of Melody filters its jangly power pop through themes of soured romantic relationships and a good night on the town. The group features Paul Crane (lead vocals and guitar), guitarist Bill Zafiros, and bassist Patrick O'Keefe, and drummer Jeff Prosetti. When Crane came to Jersey City, NJ, back in 1993 and landed a day job at EMI Records in Manhattan, a career as a musician wasn't at the forefront of his thoughts. He was going through a divorce and adjusting culturally to the differences between life in his former hometown Miami and the demands of New York City. Frustrated by the seeming lack of opportunities ahead of him, Crane responded to an ad in the Village Voice to play guitar with a Jersey garage punk band called Postpone the Inevitable.
After honing his skills in Postpone the Inevitable, he joined his PTI bandmates in the late '90s to form B**tards of Melody, whose music can be infectiously whimsical like Fountains of Wayne and self-deprecatingly humorous in the vein of Cheap Trick, but there's also a lot of good-time raucous energy in the band's guitar solos à la AC/DC and Lynyrd Skynyrd. After releasing a six-song EP, Keep It Down! (Ransom Records), in early 1999, B**tards of Melody concentrated on writing new songs for its self-titled debut CD in 2000. Their song "Joanie Don't Be Wreckless With My Heart" tells the story of a jilted lover. "Anything But Fine" details a romantic breakup. "Vibe" is about going out and having fun on the town. And "Media Queen" ironically undercuts a would-be starlet at a radio station in New York. ~ Robert Hicks