Thursday, November 4, 2010

Meet Ratherbright

Bittersweet - EP
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Most people associate "bedroom pop" with hazy, avant-garde pop produced by twenty-somethings with nothing but their four-tracks and their instruments. Ratherbright's James Wenzel could be considered a bedroom artist, but he seems less interested in letting his imagination run wild as he is in producing concise, minimal songs. His poor-me lyrics and lengthy song titles ("Getting With Her Means Getting At You," "I Like My Songs Like I Like My Coffee [Dark and Bitter]") may cause some to pigeonhole Ratherbright as yet another one-man emo-electro-pop project. But unlike many artists of his ilk, Wenzel has the chops and the taste for weirdness to stand out from the rest of the pack.

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If "I Am Not The King Of Anything" was fairly chill by PA standards, consider this a return to their old indie-bombast hijinks--war chants and impending-doom guitars merge with harmonicas, barroom pianos, and Bartunek's keening yelp to create what sounds like the entire Civil War rolled up into one song. Bartunek may not be the king of anything, but on "Guerrilla," he sounds ready to change that.

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