Mr. Fancy Pants

WEELUNK MUSIC REVIEW: ‘Let’s Pants’ by Mr. Fancy Pants

Band name: Mr. Fancy Pants

Members: Ryan “Muscles” Sears, Matt Klempa, Sean Decker

Album name: Let’s Pants (released 2017)

When a friend of mine named Ron suggested I write a music review on a band by the name Mr. Fancy Pants I knew I was in for an interesting ride. I had never heard of them before and it killed me that I couldn’t remember the reference as to where the name came from. Later I was reminded by their bass player, Ryan Sears, that the band name was inspired by the 1992 comedy horror film Army of Darkness, starring Bruce Campbell.

As soon as I hit play on their album Let’s Pants I learned very quickly that this trio may be living in the wrong era. The opening guitar riffs immediately attach my ear to a 90’s indie pop-rock sound that anybody should be able to enjoy. The first track “Man Made of Metal” is a dynamic introduction to what the album has to bring.

I love music that sounds like it’s fun to play. And I have no doubt these guys have a blast. “Curmudgeons” and “Zonk_69” are both songs I would personally like to see performed live, especially knowing these guys are local and I could’ve had the chance to see them at a small venue. Since living in the COVID era has put a halt to performing publicly, my first Mr. Fancy Pants experience was with a 2020 classic Zoom meeting – a meeting I was thrilled to sit through nonetheless.

Mr. Fancy Pants
Mr. Fancy Pants performance at Tacoholix in 2019

After hearing the album, I couldn’t wait to talk music with them. And just like their music is fun to listen to, Ryan (bass), Matt (drums), and Sean (guitar, vocals) were incredibly friendly and fun to talk to. The trio met and began playing together while attending Wheeling Jesuit University. We cracked jokes and discussed family life, our favorite musicians, and beer – they even have two beers named after them at Hightower Brewing Company located just up the river in Rayland, OH. Being heavily influenced by Rush, Elvis Costello, and the Beastie Boys gives these three fellas certainly have a unique outlook on music. It’s a level of diversity I can relate to and I admired the fact that they maintain the love for the creative process, while still having careers of their own individually. When asked when they plan to put out a new album, I learned that COVID has temporarily put a damper on the recording of a new album.

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Mr. Fancy Pants
Mr. Fancy Pants was the inspiration for Mr. Hoppy Pants, one of Hightower Brewing Company’s special beers sold at their third anniversay celebration in May.

But back to Let’s Pants

These guys can jam. There’s no denying their talent. The percussion and bass are both written together very well. The clear guitar chords are probably my favorite thing about the album. Filling your ears with solid rock and roll music with only three guys recording isn’t an easy task.

Where they shine instrumentally, the band may lack in vocals. The average listener may find themselves hearing the same song over and over again. Lyrically the subject matter is fairly simple and directionless but we’re talking about rock and roll! Teen angst and breakup songs haven’t been played out have they? Sure, some things may just fly right over our heads, but I don’t see content ever being a huge problem for the listener here. Did anybody really care what Kurt Cobain was saying on “Smells like Teen Spirit”? Did we bash Weezer for singing a song about unraveling a sweater? No. We played it over and over again. And that’s what I’ve done with Mr. Fancy Pants’ Let’s Pants album. I think it’s amazing that this type of talent is alive and well in the Ohio Valley.

Let’s Pants is available for purchase on Bandcamp.

Among friends and acquaintances, Anthony Baker has developed a reputation for being a music fanatic and is often looked to for his opinion on various musicians and bands. He enjoys discovering new-to-him artists and learning about their history before sitting down to listen to an album. His favorite artists include The Beatles, Foo Fighters, Pink Floyd, Tom Petty, Aerosmith, Mac Miller, 2pac, Wu Tang Clan, Insane Clown Posse, Tech N9ne, and Jay-Z. Anthony is happy to share his love of music with the community through Weelunk.