Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Music Review - Bryan Scary - Daffy's Elixir

Bryan Scary's 2006 debut blew my leiderhosen off! It's a kaliedoscope of colors and sounds, bouncing off rubber walls with an artistic agility that requires ingesting a full pot of coffee just to follow, let alone write. His 2008 follow-up, Flight Of the Knife, was more of the same, but perhaps a bit less so because I didn't write a review for it. Then I didn't hear anything from Mr. Scary until I saw his third album, Daffy's Elixer, on more than a few "best albums of 2012" lists and I knew that I had likely missed something good.

Well, missed as in "missed the chance to make money on a review that would underwrite the cost of buying said album." I still got to enjoy Daffy's Elixer and now I get to tell YOU about it! The first song is decent, the second is catchy but not his strongest. But when the third song ("Cable Through Your Heart") begins with a whoosh and a bang you know the caffeine has kicked in. This spastic venture has all the energy and jarring yet enjoyable musical changeups as on the first album. The bass line in particular sounds like it would be a blast to play, leaping and scooping all over the place. "The Silver Lake Mining Company" is less frenetic but still jumps like crazy while "Diamonds!" starts with piano and harpsichord but soon shifts into a western vibe before ending on a kind of 8-bit disco rhythm. From the lyrics I'm thinking Bryan is considering proposing to someone.

The song that really got me hooked is "Ballroom Kid". While the version on the album is good this live video of the band belting it out in a small radio sound room is even better, and by better I mean that the bass is fuzzier and louder in the mix.
Is it just me or does Mr. Scary look a bit like Adam Sandler? The rest of the fifteen tracks include a few others that leap into western garb for a few seconds or minutes, while others, like the disjointed "Faintless Moody: Outlaw" refuses to limit itself to a consistent time signature. It's all just crazy, zany stuff that refuses to be confined by genre.

If you define "progressive rock" as music with time and tempo changes, Bryan Scary is for you and how! As a bonus you get enough strong pop melodies to fill three albums. A few will certainly follow you home and beg for kibble. Feed them at your own risk. All in all Daffy's Elixir is a strong return after four years locked away in a ritalin detox program. I'm glad he got kicked out.

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