Thursday, October 11, 2007

Review: Andy Werth's "Seeing Stars"

At the end of last week Andy Werth sent me a copy of his upcoming new release, an EP titled "Seeing Stars." Much like his first EP ("Back To The Sun" -- I think Andy has a celestial fetish!), it's packed full of bouncy, uplifting pop that hearkens backs to 1970s pop in a lot of ways without feeling dated or kitchy.

The EP opens with "Tower," a horn- and drums-driven track that blares joy from the mountain tops. The song is energetic and upbeat, but Andy has a very relaxed delivery and there are few rough edges. So, what pops to the top are the trumpets and the melody, both of which are entirely catchy.

The disc continues with a cavalcade of bouncy piano and hummable vocals and somewhat frenetic drumming (which would probably be my only critique -- the hi-hats are either mixed too high or the drummer uses a particular rhythm too often, I can't decide which). But, there isn't a throwaway song in the bunch. Unlike many EPs, which seem tossed off to tide folks over until the next full-length, Andy has put five strong songs on this sucker.

The work here occasionally reminds me of relatively-obscure Tennessee songwriter/pianist Seth Timbs (of the Fluid Ounces). But, where Seth tends to see life through shadows, Andy stands fully in the sunlight, basking in the wonder around him.

Andy and his band really present something unique on the Seattle music scene. Although there are certainly bands in an "affinity group" (like Tiny Volcano, Curtains For You and "Awesome") I don't think there is another group doing anything exactly like this. And, they really kick it up a notch live. So, allow me to encourage you to attend their next show, which is happening October 20 at the High Dive, which is serving as the official release party for the new "Seeing Stars" EP.


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