Half Past Two - Something Blue
This big nine-piece Orange County-based ska band adds to their significant catalog with this three-song E.P. Sax player Din Fernandes gets things started with a funky intro to opening song "Lyin' Eyes," a cut set to a typically joyous ska bounce even though lead singer Tara Hahn is singing about being let down by a former lover. "See You Again" is rocking ska in the style of No Doubt and "I Will" recalls the era of the great 2-Tone bands like the Specials and the English Beat. Barely eight minutes of music here but these three songs are made to stand up to repeat play.
Venus Furs - Venus Furs
Venus Furs is the stage name of Paul Kasner, a Montreal-based singer and multi-instrumentalist with a penchant for sublime psychedelia. "Chaos and Confusion" features electric guitar in a "Neil Young wandering the desert on peyote" way while "Friendly Fire" hints at R.E.M. after they've munched some of those curious Georgia mushrooms. "Guards in the Garden" begins in a folky, bucolic manner consistent with its title but it gets to rocking fairly quickly; this one nods to '60s psychedelia. Perhaps the trippiest cut here is "Fire in Her Eyes," a meandering, seven-minute journey with an ever-present staccato beat setting the pace. Fans of psych rock with a bent toward folk will absolutely love this record.
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