Washington Post ...March 18, 2004 "Live!"
"The Want offers a good time in two ways: the songs are musically tough, but have satiric lyrical twists that are pretty dang funny on closer inspection."
Reviews of the CD "Texas"
MUSIC MONTHLY (Nov. 1998)
The Want is three guys from Washington, DC. Their second album, Texas, is a fun, diverse collection of countrified rock noir with a little punk and Velvet Underground thrown in for good measure. They list their influences as the Fall, Social Distortion, Black Flag, and the Clash, But I also found myself thinking of the B-52s and even Frank Zappa.
This is a very intelligent, effects-laden album. The music melts in your mind, not in your hand. I found myself humming the tunes after I had turned off the CD player. Damian Banaszak (drums), Jack Stanton (bass), and Bob Stewart (guitar) have produced a highly listenable album crammed full of fun, tongue-in-cheek songs. They are all listed as vocalists, but it is unclear who is the lead vocalist of the group.
On to the meat of the matter ... Texas opens with a Lou Reed does Bob Dylan track entitled "Andy Warhol". It is a sparse number, reminiscent of the Velvet Underground, whose innovator it honors. The lyrics are a hoot with lines such as , "... I was ugly and faceless / Maybe that gay boy would pick me ..."
Next is "The Creature and the Cowboy" a paean to life on the road. This cut is a mosh pitters dream with its heavy bass line and slamming, jamming rhythm.
"Snake in My Heart" is a B-52s inspired romp with gem lyrics such as, " ...we can go coughing up pieces of lung ... we can eat Reeses and pieces of lard ...". These guys are die-hard cynics!
"Toot-L-oo" is an infectious shuffle instrumental that is layered with a sweet guitar solo. This song will stay in your head. The title track is a tongue-in-cheek dig at Texas. Sort of an anti-two-step song, while "Squirrel" is a fast paced throwaway song.
"Hold Your Heart" brings Julie Johnson in on vocals. The Pink-Floyd-ish sound and the special effects are a powerful backdrop to the rich Shirley Mason-ish vocals. The song compresses to a heartbeat drum as the singer crushes her neighbors heart.
"I Know You Now" is a flirty, hard-hitting straight-ahead rocker highlighted by an inspired guitar solo. Next is the adrenaline fueled cover of Black Flags "Six Pack". Put on your steel-toed boots for this one! The last four tracks are social commentary. "Social Insecurity" is Clash-like and concerned with the collapse of the Social Security administratin. Fun stuff! "Eggs" is "Ironman" updated with its heavily distorted vocals and plodding pace. "Old Chicken" is a consumer warning song that starts wit opera and sounds like Zappa complete with clucking background vocals.
The final track is a country tune, "Prairie Dog" which conjures up visions of cowboys sitting around the campfire. Yippee ay yea kaya!
A funfest of inventive music - go get this album and put a little jig in your jog!! Kathi Dickinson
BEATS E ZINE (Oct. 21, 1998)
Everything good comes from Texas-myself included-and this band (whose contact address is actually in Virginia, according to the liner notes, so maybe they're making fun of Texas-and now I'm reachin' for my ass-kickin' boots) is no exception to the rule. The Want moves easily from country-tinged songs about leaving Texas and prairie dogs to funky songs about Andy Warhol to strange, noise-based spoken word pieces about eggs and "old chicken." Very strong musically and a lot of fun to listen to, this disc pretty much covers most of whatever exactly "alternative" is these days without sounding like they're stretching themselves too thin or in any sort of unfamiliar territory. - Holly Day
BLACKMAIL PROMOTIONS - SEATTLE, WA
"Not to be taken seriously - but definitely fun music! I do believe that was their intent as well. The Want brings back the nostalgia of punk when it was more about getting a good fix on [life] - instead of how much life sucks, as what passes for punk these days. Primarily focused to remind us that we just can't take life too much to heart, there's more to it than just fluff!"
"THE REVIEW ADDICT"
"Those first-generation punks are back again -- in case you missed it, The Want make music today, geared at the thirtysomething yuppie set. Vague country-rock feel, tones of Green on Red and the Dashboard Saviors. Black Flag cover, just like last time."
DC Music WWWeb
"The Want manages to compose some very catchy music. Songs like "Texas" and "Prairie Dog" create a fresh twist on the old western Americana folk." Barbara Salisbury
THE RECORD REVIEWER
"There are some decent solos on the guitar that at times are great. The guitars, drums, and backup are excellent."
BANDS ON THE RUN, UNSIGNED BANDS UNCOVERED
"...Seems to have been written by someone tripping on acid or something. In other words, pretty funny!"
Raw 42 Records
"The want still have that punkish edge to them....in that clash way. i think this release is a big improvement over their last release, too much stuff. it's simple music but it's fun. they probably get the audience going pretty good during live shows. this is a dancing and beer band. the songs are short but have the potential to be dragged out when live, with the whole lead guitar and drum thing happening. for some reason they don't sound quite heavy enough for what i think they're trying to achieve. the humour in the music needs to be delivered powerfully, but the want do it too daintily. aside from that, this release is progress. like to see what comes up next."
Reviews of The Want's first CD, "Too Much Stuff"
WUTS 91.3 FM
"...Great response from the listeners." - WUTS 91.3 FM "Battle of the Bands" Sewanee, TN, Steve Yackira, DJ (December 1997)
"Catchy lyrics and basic rock-and-roll guitars are contagiously fun in Lifetime Exposure. The song automatically grabbed me with its simple, anthemic appeal. "Subway" is a smoother, musical ride that satirically illustrates the day in the life of a typical D.C. commuter... This band has a fun sense of cynicism that I love." - C.H. Lopez, Music Monthly, May, 1995
WASHINGTON CITY PAPER:
"This local quartet convincingly covers the Falls "Wings", but also performs a country-rock health-scare ditty ("Lifetime Exposure"), an Eastern tinged erotic reverie featuring sax and an unlikely title ("Naked Pretzels"), and an Ultravox-meets-Fugazi art-punk number complete with the sound of breaking glass ("Dreams Never End"). The coda of "Tormented Soul" echoes Reichian minimalism, only to yield to the bouncy "Never Come Back," which suggests happy-go-lucky 50s rock (notably Mickey and Sylvias "Love Is Strange")... Stuff demonstrates more than a few directions this skillfully eclectic outfit might profitably explore further." - Mark Jenkins, Sound Check, Washington City Paper, June 16, 1995
THE COLOR GREEN MAGAZINE:
"Too Much Stuff leads me to believe that The Want ... doesnt want to be taken too seriously, which isnt necessarily a bad thing. They come across as a deep but simple multi-styled band [which] seeps elements of power pop, punk, and new wave, with small doses of classic rock and hints of gothic thrown in. Pondering possible influences, I thought of another unity project including Camper Van Beethoven, Buddy Holley, Jim Morrison, Talking Heads, Sisters of Mercy (after becoming reborn Christians), Chris Issak, The Grateful Dead - - I said just a dose, but who could have a resurrected unity project without them. With its surreal qualities, the cut "Den of Inequity" could be used in a Quentin Taratino film, but only one starring Nicholas Cage and Sheryl Lee. "Fax World" is one of my favorites here; it should be used as the theme song for a cartoon about a superhero who fights evil in a yuppie world. "Never Come Back" is my kind of love song. It deserves a listen. Overall the music is very uncomplicated, giving the listener a chance to pay attention to the lyrics, which are, contrary to the music itself, somewhat dark and obscure ... leading me to my first statement about being taken seriously. Aside from the psychedelic undertones, accompanied by the verbal "social" samplings, its light, tight, and refreshing -- NO GRUNGE! The more you listen, the more youll like. - Paula Powers, Sound & Vision, The Color Green, Greenville, South Carloina, Feb. 1996
"THE REVIEW ADDICT"
"a slower, sillier take on the basic X sound, The Want are punks for the thirtysomething yuppie set." Michael Stutz, POB 542, Berea OH.