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Mr. Bill's Wild Ride
Artist: Devoted Molded
Label: Screaming Giant
Length: 16 tracks/ 44:24 minutes

Devoted Molded have one of the most promising young rock singers heard in awhile, with a warm and husky, yet earnest voice. He reminds a bit of the vastly underappreciated singer for grunge youngsters Sheesh from a few years back. The music is a mix of pop punk and uptempo grunge, again like Sheesh but not as memorable and dynamic. Early Plankeye, Tragedy Ann, and Moral Issue comes to mind at times as well.

At their best ("Tentative," "Lickety Split"), Devoted Molded come within shouting distance of
Whirlpool-era Prayer Chain. And "Holy Temple" is a straightforward, powerful worship rock song worthy to be on a Third Day album--if given some production help.  At their worst, though, they're really dumb and their songs are awkward. "Stupid" lives up to its name, with a bouncy, sloppy vocal delivery of the worst lines ever: 

peanut butter jelly jam
things i put on sandwiches
Jesus died to save my soul
'cuz my mommy told me so
Even if they're being sarcastic, it doesn't justify such stupidity. Half the album is filled with juvenile, quickly written songs like this, most under two minutes.

Mr. Bill's Wild Ride is a mixed bag. With a little practice, production help, original songwriting, and
life experience to provide better lyrics, Devoted Molded could be one of those bands that takes your breath away. Unfortunately, the step up is a big one, and not likely to be afforded them by indie slop label Screaming Giant.  Too bad.

Josh Spencer  6/14/2000


Josh Spencer, contributing senior associate editor for The Phantom
Tollbooth for over two years, is also publisher and editor-in-chief of
spiritual pop culture webzine Stranger Things.  Reviews and articles by
him are usually simultaneously published in some form at


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