March 12, 2010 – The Super Desserts is an out of the ordinary band local to Columbus, Ohio.  They have a roster that has more than 10 people with instrumentation ranging from banjo to bell set. Their music is akin to The Fratellis of Apple iPod commercial fame. They have thick harmonies and the music is relatively upbeat. Common themes running through their music are love and relationships.  They have a certain simplicity of style, which seems key for all their songs.

Super Desserts on stage

Super Desserts on stage playing "Ghost Song" at The Summit. Pictured are: Fran, Justin Riley, Matt Ogcron, Eve Searls, Bobby Miller, Erik Kang, and Ianna Kristiansen.

When I arrived at the Summit around 9:30pm there were about twenty people meandering around, waiting for the music to start. On the stage more and more musicians kept showing up and setting up their instruments. Over the next half hour I could see the sound guy floundering with the shear volume of microphones and inputs he had to set up. He did not look all too happy. The music started shortly thereafter with a song called “Missy Madame.” I was initially blown away by the harmonies coming from the group with all eight members on stage adding vocals to the instrumentation. But, as the night wore on I noticed that the music did not venture much farther then what was explored in the first song. In fact, it felt a bit like listening to a half hour long song with breaks for some people to tune along with some odd banter. At one point one of the musicians pointed out that the History Channel was showing images of a cross burning.

Super Desserts displaying their recent album at The Summit.

Super Desserts displaying their recent album “Banjo Forever” at The Summit. Pictured are: Fran, Justin Riley, Matt Ogcron, Eve Searls, Bobby Miller, Erik Kang, and Ianna Kristiansen.

Many of the lyrics, at least those that I heard, had cliché notes to them. “Forget about me,” and “I miss you,” were used multiple times in the song “Ibiza.” The song “Faster Tea” used “What are we fighting for?”. Perhaps if the vocals came out a bit more I may have had a different experience here.  They also had no shortage of bah’s and dah’s, using them in nearly all of the eight songs played. There were a fair amount of people dancing in front of the stage though; the music did have that going for it at least. I would not suggest going to their show expecting high-energy rock, but more of a laid back feel-good feeling. Fran, a member of the band, described the band as “Indy, pop, folk, family.” I would say this was a pretty apt description of the band.

I did find it odd that there was no drummer in attendance. Most of the time there was only a sad tambourine that seemed to only function as a metronome tapping out on the beat. With that many people on stage you would expect the ability to add some more rhythm to the music. I mean bang on a pot or stomp the floor; anything to get the half hour of tambourine out of my head. It felt a little like seeing “Eyes Wide Shut” again listening to a single piano note being played for two hours. Perhaps I’m going a bit too far but in only one song did the tambourine change from this pattern. This was not enough to clear the idea from my head.

Super Desserts can be found on MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/superdesserts, and Twitter: http://twitter.com/superdesserts. Their recent release, “Banjo Forever”, is available in CD and Vinyl formats released by Red Bird Recordings: http://banjoforever.com/.

-V-