Joining the ranks of clock-punching bands like the Waitresses, the Busboys and Mike & the Mechanics, the Service Industry examine the workaday drudgery that allows them to practice their craft on debut Limited Coverage. Cobbled together from several Austin bands — Wannabes, Diamond Smugglers, Rockland Eagles, Fire Marshals of Bethlehem — TSI adhere to comfortable pop/rock that every so often flashes some musical and lyrical bite. Wage-slave laments like "Job of Quality," "Have to Go to Work" and "They Fired Me" balance resignation and frustration, but frontman Mike McCoy — doing his best with less than inspirational subject matter — still elicits a chuckle or two with lines like "I did my job, I need my money now, to go get a 12-pack" or "My secretary thinks I'm gay." He and Julie Lowery's back-and-forth vocals give "Now Wake Up and Die" and "Valhalla" an X-like cast, and McCoy warbles like Roky Erickson on the bittersweet "Palestine." A sharp cover of the Undertones' "You've Got My Number (Why Don't You Use It)" and the Pixies-ish thrasher "Zippy's Lament" bolsters the album's second half, as does the amusing "Hollywood Out of Austin." TSI may have let a little too much of that workplace drudgery leach into their songs, but that's no reason to garnish their wages.
Recommended For You
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!