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  • Writer's pictureCase Cockrell

Zero Percent APR's Higher and Higher Forever shows the band giving no fucks for the better and more

Updated: Nov 4, 2022

Juli "Falcon Bitch" Keller and Cody "Gumball" Dosier are a songwriting team that makes you laugh, cry, and purge every emotion you have on your mind out into the world. From songs about love and hot cars and now songs about getting stoned and other shenanigans, Keller and Dosier push the envelope further with a 23-track fuzz fest that's bound to be a vinyl sleeve that'll serve as your next joint-rolling surface. With Zero Percent APR being merely a side project for Keller's and Dosier's Austin indie powerhouse, Being Dead, this record still has tons to offer in songwriting, playfulness, and singalongs that will have indie fanatics wearing this release out on turntables everywhere.

Don't let the song titles fool you. Falcon Bitch and Gumball aren't stoners, or so they say. With every instance of the pair taking the stage, they put on their rock and roll personas as these freaks that captivate their audiences with reverb madness that might be a clean-cut studio producer's worst nightmare. I mean, listen to the song Heavy Fucking Metal. The track sounds akin to L7 and the result is as if The Misfits never broke up and kept living in houses with blood and guts decorating the walls. Even some of the drearier cuts on this record, such as Days Off, could serve as a soundtrack to drowning your sorrows in some run-down Austin, Texas bar, and this isn't a bad thing by any means. Keller and Dosier take even some of their more playful lyrics quite seriously, and it always works out in their favor with every cut.

The shorter skit-like cuts on this record only further the demented, parodic nature of this record. With several of the skits lasting less than a minute, it's like Keller and Dossier are daring its listeners to be able to race to reload their pipe for the next leg of tracks of the record. The bedroomy sounds of hopeful despair on the track Hop Topic Philosophy show Keller singing over heavy guitars with vocals that seem to fluctuate in colossal ranges of pitch and emotion. Keller and Dosier's vocals shine all over this record, and they complement each other so well to the point where you can hear the chemistry of their music on every single track they create.

The softer cuts on this record have a certain eerieness that paints a picture of a forgotten cocktail on a bedside table after someone's double shift at work after they made the drink but fell asleep before they could take a sip. The keys-driven ballad GTA2 paints this picture with a TV playing late night Adult Swim shows into the late hours of the night while the overworked individual slowly drifts off into a short sleep before waking up and having to do it all over again. The track offers a sense of hopeful bliss that could remind us of our young years of chipping away on acoustic instruments trying to make ideas come out to some fruition putting our every last drop of creativity into a song that might end up on Bandcamp or coming through some speakers at a college bar. With Keller and Dosier appearing at SXSW in the spring, it has become apparent that their zany songwriting will soon occupy bigger audiences, and these oddball cats deserve it.

The playful diddy Kevin Curtin offers a playful ode to the band's hilarious article written for the Austin publication, the Austin Chronicle. When Keller and Dosier's Being Dead project throws back into promotional mode for their upcoming Being Dead release, I'll likely end up in one of these songs for my hopefully just as amusing interview. (Hint, Hint)

Some of the longer cuts on this record, such as The Highway, My VCR, and The Puppy Island, all create a superb backdrop for this record that seems to go by in a fuzzy, unforgiving fashion in the vein of say, Ween's Godweensatan. The longer cuts expose the listener to even more wonky sounds than the shorter cuts, and the results usually pan out in a disgruntled yet melodic fashion.

Keller and Dosier rip through the weeds here and don't look back, give this one a listen and maybe buy the vinyl then descend into the pit of fuzziness that's worth looping over and over into oblivion.

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