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The Piper Downs
Varying Degrees of Failure and Tunelessness
Wheat From Chaff Records

Listening to Various Degrees of Failure and Tunelessness by The Piper Downs, you feel like you’re in a movie montage – the “we’re having fun” montage where the characters are zipping around in a convertible, playing Frisbee, drinking pony-necked beers and laughing with perfect teeth. The band – whose name is surely a reference to So I Married An Axe Murderer, the world’s best Mike Myers film no matter what anyone says – claims kinship with such groups as Green Day and Jimmy Eat World. They’re also reminiscent of a more melodic Heatmiser: they’ve got the same “throw face at mic and hope for the best” quality.

“When I sing, I sing louder,” promises lead singer Bobby Bognar, and he’s not kidding – listening to the energy jolting out of my speakers, I was itching to hear these guys perform live. Not every band is making music for the joy of it, but The Piper Downs seem to be doing just that. Plus, the lyrics are occasionally laugh-out-loud funny: “I am a dick, I am a dick, I am addicted to you,” Bobby confesses. Hey Bobby, I think that’s my line. Throw Various Degrees in your car CD player on a sunny day and drive your four best friends to the beach.

Favorite Track: Track 6, “Delicate”

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Kris Larson works as a freelance writer in the San Francisco Bay Area. She has a degree in English Literature from San Francisco State University and reads an alarming amount of Edith Wharton in her spare time. She can be reached at, or you can visit her website at
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