In about the time it takes to peruse this piece you could listen to San Francisco hardcore micro-song master Tony Molina’s entire 2014 album, “Dissed And Dismissed.” It contains 12 tracks and runs a total of 11 and a half minutes. Yes, you read that right. The tunes range from 26 seconds to the comparatively epic 1:32 (our featured song, the album closer, hits near the top end, clocking in at 1:25). But these are not reclaimed scraps of unfinished compositions and this album is no gimmick. Molina just shows no patience for long records or pop music conventions. Brief as they are, every one of Molina’s tunes sounds finished. These are, in fact, complete thoughts; he’s just able to realize them in absurdly short durations. We’re used to pop music abiding by certain rules and forms – a few chords, a few minutes, and a chorus that repeats enough for first-time listeners to be singing along by the end. But Molina clearly has no time for that protocol. He burns through a riff, sings a verse, rips a solo, and he is out: the “Veni, Vidi, Vici” of rock.
“It’s just whatever the song calls for,” Molina says. “I don’t know if I write songs intentionally short. I just don’t need a song to be standard length just because it should be a standard length, you know? It doesn’t need to f*cking repeat. Why does it have to repeat?” Kind of a mind-blowing question, isn’t it? In all my years of listening to music – constantly listening to music – it’s really never even occurred to me. Once a song’s expressed some new musical phrase or concept, why do it again? And what’s the point of a chorus? And can I ever hear Iron Butterfly do “In A Gadda Da Vida” the same way again? Molina simply succeeds in distilling everything down to its pure power pop essentials, without wasting a second. Listeners will hear plenty of inspiration from Weezer and Thin Lizzy, as well as lo-fi, indie-rock heroes Dinosaur, Jr. and Guided By Voices. Only, don’t focus too long trying to pin those influences; just when you think a song’s about to build up to something, it’ll be over.