Album Reviews

The Sharp Things – Adventurer’s Inn

Artist:     The Sharp Things

Album:     Adventurer's Inn

Label:     Dive Records

Release Date:     12/02/2014

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Seriously… who knew? Perry Serpa works the 9 to 5 grind as an erstwhile publicist touting the music made by others. But after hours, he can be found at the helm of his own band, The Sharp Things, a ten-piece ensemble with an expansive sound and even bigger musical ambitions. Although prog rock might be in short thrift these days – displaced by a glut of frivolous pop pundits and wannabe roots rockers – The Sharp Things show a kind of verve and savvy that could easily elevate that classic genre back to prominence and/or popularity. Not the stodgy, overly-indulgent variety, mind you – but a melodic brew that’s as accessible as it is inventive. The majority of these nine songs exude an effusive glow that’s consistently compelling, and on songs such as “Everything Breaks” and “All But These Beautiful Faces,” there’s also instant appeal, courtesy of rich, resilient arrangements that practically explode out of the speakers. Brass and strings add to the ebullience, but Serpa’s singing sets the tone, both literally and figuratively. On “Union Chapel,” for example, the ethereal harmonies bring to mind the Beach Boys in Smile and Sunflower mode.  The gruff turn on “Libertine” aside, Adventurer’s Inn is one of the most effusive albums to come around in ages, proof positive that this exceptional outfit has a fine future ahead of them.

– Lee Zimmerman

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