Monday, October 19, 2009

EP of the Day, 10/19/09-Bryan Scary & The Shredding Tears-Mad Valentines.

As kind of a pit stop between full-length releases (2008's Flight of the Knife and a new one planned for 2010), Bryan Scary & The Shredding Tears have a new EP out, Mad Valentines. I've stood pretty much alone in the power pop community as being a bit underwhelmed by Scary, feeling his music has been hyperkinetic for hyperkinesis' sake - Jellyfish with A.D.D., if you will. And after hearing the first track on this EP, "Andromeda's Eyes", in which Scary revs it up to Ludicrous Speed, I began to think he was becoming a parody of himself.

But then a funny thing happened with the rest of the EP. He dialed it back about 15%, and the remaining five tracks are the kind of effervescent, joyous Jellyfish-inspired pop that I knew he had in him. "(It's a) Gambler's Whirl" would have fit nicely on ELO's Discovery (a/k/a Disco Very); "The Garden Eleanor" sounds like Jeff Lynne producing Mika (that "I don't care if she cuts off her hair" hook is embedded in my brain); "Maria St. Claire" is the closest Scary gets to a ballad, and it's wonderful; and "Bye Bye Babylon" and "The Red Umbrella" find Scary in full bells-and-whistles mode, but in service of the song, not the sound.

Finally a Bryan Scary release I can get behind. Probably means everyone else who loved the first two finds it a letdown.

(Note: it's available digitally right now, but not on CD until October 27.)

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