There are plenty of warning signs that All Lit Up, the debut solo album from Sat. Nite Duets’ Andrew Jambura, should be taken with a grain of salt. One, it’s the debut solo album from Sat. Nite Duets’ Andrew Jambura. Two, it’s credited not to Jambura, but to “Andi Action.” Three, the opening track, “Gettin’ Lit,” contains lines like these: “Andi Action, yeah that’s my name / But I need to sexual attraction to reign my game in.” Four, did we mention the album is called All Lit Up? And have you looked at the cover?
So yeah, All Lit Up is firmly in Sat. Nite Duets’ ironic, bone-dry-humor wheelhouse. But just like that band’s best work (Summer Of Punishment, Electric Manland), there’s a weird river of sincerity and emotion running below the surface, Ghostbusters 2-style. Action/Jambura may deck out “Roy’s Vision” in goofball vocals and instrumentation, but the opening line, “Don’t it ever seem like your life is just a series of stupid dreams?” rings painfully true. Both “Big Drinker 2” and closer “Sleeping Weather,” meanwhile, feature tongue-in-cheek spoken word intros that eventually give way to choruses that are alternately funny, sad, and bittersweet.
Musically, All Lit Up is more ramshackle and kitchen-sink than anything in Sat. Nite’s discography, likely due to the fact that it was written, performed, and recorded entirely by Action/Jambura. With half the songs coming in under the two-minute mark, there’s also a strong Guided By Voices song-sketch vibe running throughout the album. (The inclusion of a cover of GBV’s “Liar’s Tale” is no accident.) It all adds up to a strangely affecting distillation of Sat. Nite Duets, and a wonderfully ridiculous introduction to the alter ego of one of its members.