reviewed by Michael Thomas
I often comment how apt certain album titles can be, and this one is no exception. The first proper EP from Wide-Eyed Tour Guide is quick of wit and armed to the teeth with catchiness. These two elements combine for an extremely entertaining offering that should rightfully leave many hungry for more.
What makes this band so great is the obvious chemistry between band members Jared Parker, Holly Jamieson and Jason Shory. Parker as lead vocalist has a very distinct voice that can be quiet or powerful depending on the circumstances, and Jamieson is fantastic in her role as backup.
The opener “Jungle Love” can be easily categorized into the “indie-pop” genre. Armed with a great mix of keyboard sounds and heavier guitar, the song is inescapably pleasant. The change in dynamics between the choruses and verses keeps the song interesting throughout.
“Note to Self” showcases Parker’s unique vocals while also highlighting the keys that make these songs so interesting alongside other cool background sounds like the brief tapping of percussion. The guitar is once again heavy and should be at odds with the classical-sounding piano but isn’t at all. It even samples a few notes from Beethoven’s “Für Elise” cleverly after a lyric that namedrops the composer.
The next song has a very pretty music-box quality to it. With less focus on guitar for the first minute, “Churchill” shows the band’s softer side. The song also fluctuates in dynamics, at certain points adding a heavier sound before going back to the pleasantness of the keys and percussion. It’s also got a very vivid image in one lyric: “My apology splatters into some kind of overt funeral pyre.”
The band throws a curveball with the next song “Way Too Soon.” It is supported by only the picking of an acoustic guitar as well as the vocals of Parker and Jamieson. This is the first glimpse of Jamieson on her own vocally and it’s a very nice slice- I hope to hear even more from her on the next recording. This song basically shows that the band can be just as compelling with or without a large array of keyboards.
The final track shows the band erupt into chaos. Right from the first note the sound of “I Drink Your Milkshake” is dense, filled with keys and bass and guitar in high gear. Parker is at his most badass with his vocal delivery of this song, pulling off a line like “I am a fucker not a lover, don’t wanna kiss under the covers” without any hint of awkwardness. The song also shows the band’s witty side as it manages to make a few quick references to the Kelis song “Milkshake.”
In just five songs this band packs a hell of a wallop. I have little doubt that this EP will appear on my end-of-year “Best EP’s” list. Sharp Tongue Pillow Talk is a name-your-price download from Bandcamp.
Top Track: “I Drink Your Milkshake”
Rating: Proud Hoot (Really Good) +*swoop*