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JIM'S BIG EGO: unpop for the unpopulous!

Review of They're Everywhere! in SC

If you can picture a band that is equal parts Cake, Frank Zappa, They Might Be Giants and Barenaked Ladies, with the smallest dash of Weird Al thrown in, then you have a general idea of what waits for you on "They're Everywhere," the latest release by Boston rock band Jim's Big Ego. Jim Infantino, the "Jim" in the band's title, has spent the past eight years or so releasing independent albums that gleefully play with the English language. At the same time, Infantino's songs remain melodic enough to entertain rather than make us feel as if we are being subjected to a grammar lesson.

"I'm a xenophobic tapiocaphobe and a claustrophobic agoraphobe," Infantino sings on the CD's title track, which seems to poke fun at those of us with voices in our heads. Elsewhere, Jim's Big Ego glorifies the lowly teacher's assistant ("Math Prof Rock Star"), mix tapes ("Mix Tape"), and a nasty name for a person's posterior that could possibly be one of the most brutally honest tunes ever written. Trust me, you'll be singing the chorus to that one the next time someone cuts you off in traffic.

While Infantino is obviously a well-versed guy, his lyrics are anything but condescending. Instead, he seems to be beckoning to the listener as if to say, "Hey, I have an amusing story with a great punch line if you have a moment to listen."

Trust me, you have a moment for this brainy brand of geek rock. Comic book enthusiasts take note: Legendary comic book artist Carmine Infantino, who just happens to be Jim's uncle, drew the cover of "They're Everywhere." (A-)