In Hear This, The A.V. Club writers sing the praises of songs they know well. This week: We’re celebrating Thanksgiving with songs about all kinds of pie.
Karp, “Pie” (1995)
Karp has a beautiful knack for pairing unlikely subjects to their sludgy, hardcore sound. Making a nonsensical, aggressive PSA about the benefit of learning by comparing the mathematical constant pi to its most delicious homonym is the kind of decontextualized weirdness Karp did exceptionally well. The trio released three albums from 1990 before breaking up in 1998. Afterward, member Jarred Warren went on to form another stripped-down punk operation, Big Business. In 2006, that band became rotating members of The Melvins.
In its heyday, however, Karp was an all-too-rare kind of punk band that wrote tight, propulsive punk songs with a sly sense of humor. The decidedly apolitical band preferred to write deliberately obtuse and surreal lyrics ranging from bizarre fascistic imagery to anthems about up-and-coming Roller Derby stars. It’s all held together with a humorous self-awareness and dirty, energetic rhythm.
“Pie,” off of the band’s 1995 album Suplex, makes learning fun. The minimal lyrics repeat over and over with oscillating urgency while underneath a monotone voice rattles off a drugged recitation of pi’s digits. The song culminates in a repeated howl that pi is scientifitastic. Damn straight it is.