29 Aug 2016
The Greek Theatre - The Sunniest Day EP
Reviewed by Kent Whirlow
The Greek Theatre's debut LP "Lost Out at Sea" is absolutely brilliant and, for my money, they are the best outfit to be found on Bandcamp. So naturally, my expectations were extremely high when this lovely EP appeared. And it surely does not does not disappoint. The EP kicks off with the title track - instantly recognizable as The Greek Theatre, yet still sounding quite different from their wonderful debut. It starts with a lovely blast of trumpets, thundering drum rolls, warm soaring vocals and some nice, twangy country guitar, beautiful acoustic guitar, pedal steel - a stunningly complex track, so much going on here. Musically, I fail to see how this could not appeal to fans of Scott Walker's first four solo records.
Next up is "Stray Dog Blues", a gentle introspective song with some really sweet vocals, flute, and nice harmonizing female backing vocals. This song, too, is complex though in a rather unassuming way. With each listen, I am picking out something new from the many layers. The timing of the arrangements on this track is truly impeccable and the song has both a melancholic and pastoral feel to it.
Rounding out this gorgeous EP is the mysterious "Paper Moon", another track filled with an exquisite layering of sounds, all so cleverly constructed. They take you on a dreamlike journey from the outset with all sorts of sounds conjuring up so many intriguing thoughts and images. There's some terrific bass playing which anchors this track, not to mention some very fine guitar work. I'm truly astounded by how much they have compressed into just five and a half minutes in this last track - there is more to enjoy here than most bands can manage to deliver in an entire LP. It truly gets better with each listen, it all just resonates so beautifully.
This is easily my favourite release of 2016, and that's saying something, as it has been quite a stellar year for music thus far. Highest possible recommendation!
Editor's note - The Greek Theatre's second album isn't far away either. I've had a sneaky listen, and it won't disappoint. Stay tuned!
Stream or download the EP through the Bandcamp link below. Extremely limited vinyl available here.