To use a tiresome cliché, Gay’s Talking Points EP is like a box of chocolates- you never know what you’re going to get.
I mean, for sure you’ll have some idea as you begin tuning in, but their unpredictability and irreverence is what makes Gay such a fascinating band to listen to. For example, you probably won’t expect a song that sounds like a 50’s swing number to suddenly add a gritty electric guitar, but Gay does just that.
At eight songs, the EP almost feels like a full-length, though the first track “Opening Remarks” is a mere 23 seconds of instrumental whirring.
The EP’s “first” song, “Shotgun Harry,” is one of the recording’s strongest. The band collectively flexes its musical muscle in a song with great vocal harmonies, ending with horns, and featuring lines like “We share the same DNA but I can’t make you love me” and “Let zygotes be zygotes.”
It’s followed by “Don’t Leave Me Hanging, Olga” which is the previously-mentioned song that starts off like a 50’s swing number but is interspersed with dense electric guitar that creates a wonderfully jarring effect on the song.
“Lisa” is a slightly more straightforward pop number and shows off great mingling between an upbeat guitar riff and some rattling bass.
Meanwhile “Jungle Jim” again shows off the band’s unpredictability. It starts with the whirring of multiple instruments and is at first filled with the sound of people talking and glasses clinking. As the lead vocals and guitar come in, it sounds like they’re all being played off to the side (if you’re listening with headphones) before the actual track takes over completely (you can see the music video for the track below).
“Take Me Home” is a quick track supported by little more than an acoustic guitar and a banjo, while “Project Project” is another giddy and energetic number.
The album ends with “Asbestos” which, at five minutes, is by the far the longest song on the EP. There is a lot of guitar brilliance to be heard here and it shows that the band can make a long song just as compelling and idiosyncratic as a short one.
Gay have definitely done some great things with this EP and it only makes me hunger for a little more upbeat pop in the Toronto scene.
Check out their website to find out how you can get the EP.
Top Tracks: “Shotgun Harry”; “Jungle Jim”
Rating: Proud Hoot (Really Good) + *swoop*