“Sex and consumption are parts of my life,” notes Passage dryly. Is he boasting or lamenting? “I smoke and eat too much, money burns a hole in my pocket, and there is no such thing as too much sex.”
The answer’s still unclear, but fitting coming from the voice of Restiform Bodies. The Oakland-based trio—rounded out by producers Bomarr and Telephone Jim Jesus (each a solo artist in his own right)—have just released TV Loves You Back, an album of wild sonics (art, rap, pop, noise) that drips with neon-ugly imagery from the era of the overfed attention span. But the album isn’t so much the antithesis of your gossip girls and weekend vampires as it is the indifferent warning label glued to the corner of the pack.
“I’m as much an example of our culture as a critic,” Passage continues. “I live a very domestic little life—there’s no dumpster diving or bike culture in my repertoire, and I think peace marches in San Francisco are redundant.”
That said, Restiform’s third record is anything but a succumbing to the lull of complacence. To the contrary, the characters caught in its innards—mall shooters, QVC shoppers, video game kids, brand whores, cancer patients and the narrator himself—all seem to be caught up in the same struggle: trying to stay human amidst the chaos.
“I do believe consumerism is fucked and we should all walk to work and stop eating garbage,” he says, “but media-conglomerate-owned or not, genetically modified or big-box bought, made in China or here in the U.S. of A, death waits.”
Thus, we submit to you the chorus of “Consumer Culture Wave,” delivered on album in admirable deadpan: “Fuck like you mean it, Timmy.”