Scammers, “McDonald’s Songs”

J. Edward Keyes

By J. Edward Keyes

on 05.14.14 in Listen to This

“McDonald’s Songs,” from the Kansas City one-man band Scammers, opens en media res, with Phil Diamond pouting Bobby Conn-style “I can’t go to work today” over a rubbery funk groove. It stops immediately after that, there are two short electronic pulses, then it reboots, with Diamond this time huffing “I can’t look at anyone today.” For someone so anti-social, Diamond’s songs seem designed for communal enjoyment. “McDonald’s Songs” pulses and throbs, like a bedroom take on Chic. Diamond grinds out tapes like this with alarming frequency, and all of them trade on his theatrical tenor and fondness for oddball synth arrangements. “McDonalds” is Diamond at his most approachable (other songs on American Winter approach Scott Walker levels of abstraction), working its simple groove into a frenzy.