While Columbus doesn't have the rep for spawning musical talent that, say, Seattle or New York does, Ohio's capital can lay claim to a handful of well-known artists. The notables include RJD2, Phil Ochs, New Bomb Turks, Dwight Yoakam and part-time MC “Macho Man” Randy Savage. (I can't be the only one that remembers the hysterically awful Be a Man album, right?) Still, the city's never had anything in the way of a supergroup, but Super Desserts are the next best thing.
Assembled by players from a plethora of rising Columbus outfits (Couch Forts, Bird and Flower, Beard of Stars, etc.), Super Desserts features 11 stable members and several others coming in and out based on circumstances.
The hefty number of instruments the band utilizes enhances the semi-supergroup feel (or, at the very least, show this project to be something out of the ordinary), with banjo, sitar, clarinet, tambourine, cello, saxophone, glockenspiel and other items coming into play. Despite the abundance of both performers and tools, the ensemble's Indie Pop is buoyant and airy enough that if you didn't know about the personnel, you might forget how many folks are involved.
Super Desserts were founded on a handful of unusual concepts. The original members aimed for a mix of male and female performers, no drums or bass and a heavy interest in homemade, DIY aesthetics. In sum, “endearing,” “heartfelt” and “cute” become the operating adjectives here.
There are definitely instances where the preciousness is overbearing. Fourth album Twee as Folk could induce a sugar overdose, with excessively long song titles like “Turn Up the Sunlight, or Apropos of Nothing, Ship-shape Steve Slowly Sails His Sloop to Shore,” but then a song like “Missy Madame …” comes along and pulls off the sonorous, sweet approach without going overboard.
The Desserts are one of Columbus’ treasures that could go far enough to join the list of widely celebrated acts mentioned above. If we're really lucky, Macho will come home to drop a guest verse someday.