It wasn’t an instant love affair, but I must admit - it’s getting more and more difficult for me to keep my ears off Flight of the Knife (2008), the latest album by Bryan Scary & The Shredding Tears. It was recommended “extremely highly” (or something like that…) by Bruce Brodeen, so I listened to a few soundclips. When I was finally able to find time to listen to the whole album properly, I felt like I had begun a new exciting journey.
Based on the photographs I’ve seen, Mr. Scary and his Tears’ live performance looks like a scene from an old horror movie – a pretty good reason to end up being characterized as a cinematic pop act. However, most of the people I know would probably understand the expression psychedelic rock better as a description of Scary’s psychedelicious pop-rock. You might hear echoes of Queen, ELO, XTC, and The Beatles (and I bet there are many other influences too) in the fascinating mix of psych-rock, melodic pop elements and lyrics that are practically science fiction. Personally, I have to admit that Scary’s sweet voice is also something that most certainly appeals to me (and will get me addicted to this album, I bet..).
Flight of the Knife utilizes a fairly traditional set of instruments – one of the highlights being Scary’s powerful piano work - although the experience definitely comes with many psychedelic effects, intriguing tempo changes, unpredictable song structures and other cool tricks. Thanks to those, listening to the album will certainly not get uninteresting. It is actually quite suitable to call Flight of the Knife an experience. Listening to the album is an audial adventure.
The songlist is awesome. Venus Ambassador, being good all the way, has an absolutely delicious melody part that is heard in the beginning, and then again in the end of the song. The wild rocking chorus of The Purple Rocket is another favorite moment – here you can really hear the psychedelic rock, not to mention the awesomeness of the ELO-influenced layered vocals. Imitation of the Sky rocks too: “This is the mourning of the Susie High” – Scary’s melodic genius is clear here. That phrase, along with numerous others, may actually get stuck in your head, and you'll love it. Also one of my favourites is Mama Waits - an obvious should-be hit single. It is extremely catchy, somewhat Sgt. Pepper-like, and one of the most traditionally-constructed songs on the album. The Zero Light is happy – uplifting, I’d say. The Curious Disappearance of the Sky-Ship Thunder-Man (what a title!) is a completely delicious ballad that won’t go unnoticed. Heaven on a Bird is another ballad, totally wonderful.
This album gives me an impression that Mr. Scary has found a way to realize his musical potential to the fullest. I believe it will be difficult for him to make an album even better than this one. Will he succeed anyway? Someday we’ll find out… If only his music got the attention it deserves, the world would be at least a bit better place.
Bryan Scary & The Shredding Tears at MySpace
Flight of The Knife site (listen to the album here)
[Hooray, my 100th post!]