Press darlings again

9 January 2008

An eventful day, as two nice mentions appear:

John Pfeiffer of The Aquarian Arts Weekly reviewed our December 21 JamNow performance as part of a feature on JamNow. Among other nice things, John wrote:

Headed by main vocalist and writer Perry Serpa, The Sharp Things snake like wild vines through a thick forest of compositions, twisting arabesque patterns of guitar, pianos, violins and trombone into their own curious direction and echoing a very short list of famed comparisons from me.

Bringing to mind Crowded House, Burt Bacharach and Brian Ferry, even some hints of Tom Waits and Guided By Voices surface at subliminal points in their performances, but even these are just references for my article.

The Sharp Things live have a surreal living rhythm, moving back and forth with precise timing to different instruments, keeping a smooth and flowing groove throughout their entire performance. Truth be told, as an ensemble boasting so many different influences, it’s a completely original style, one that is enjoyable to surrender to without looking for a comparison to its ever-revolving interpretation of musical color.

An interesting group that I look forward to seeing live again very soon.

And we hope to see him very soon, too!

Farther afield, this appeared in The Austinist today:

New York pop isn’t owned only by the young and tragically hip. Nope, sometimes it’s powered by stately sophistication and a classical refinement. The Sharp Things, a name which immediately conjures images of a brash garage rock group, are a chamber pop group comprised of eleven members playing smart sounds taking influences from jazz, soul, indie rock, folk and classical, to name a few. Shortly after the basic group was started in 1995 they began picking up instruments – strings, horns, woodwinds, keyboards – bringing them to their current lineup and the release of their third album, A Moveable Feast, this past June on Bar/None Records.

On “Cruel Thing” the soul influence is obvious, as is a touch of Burt Bacharach, on this sweet and smooth song with female backup singers, some keyboard prances and gentle layers of strings. Singer/songwriter Perry Serpa does his best Marvin Gaye on the track off A Moveable Feast. The horns, woodwinds and strings all contribute to the triumphant chorus on “Through With Love,” which has Serpa declaring just that.


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