Spygenius – Man On the Sea
Imagine you took your favorite folk, power pop, and psych confections and mixed them all together. Then you covered the resulting treat with Belgian chocolate. Essentially, you’d have a candy that appeals to every appetite. That’s what you get with Spygenius’ fifth LP entitled Man On the Sea.
There are seventeen tracks in all and while every single one is worth your attention, I’m going to focus primarily on the ones that tickle me the most – the mid and up tempo pop songs.
“In A Garden” begins with a simple beat, slowly gaining momentum until the guitar jangle and infectious melody carry you away. It’s classic 80’s era pop done to perfection. The melody is uber-catchy and harmonies exquisite in “Watch Your Back”, the closest thing to Greensberry Woods I think I’ve ever heard. Hell – the lead vocal even sounds a little bit like Matt Huseman. Add the Beatles style halt and it’s perfect.
Speaking of guitar jangle, REM fans will absolutely love “If You Go A-Roving”. There are some great psych-pop songs here, too.
“Café Emery Hill” reminds me of my favorite Move songs as it advances to a marching beat and a baroque style organ. If the la la’s don’t grab you, the bells certainly will. It’s spectacular.
My favorite track is probably “Windy”. If you’ve forgotten what Green Pajamas sounded like when they were creating their psych-pop masterpieces, this is it. Even the lyrics sound like something Jeff Kelly would write.
“I always believed you when you said you’d call. I always believed you when you said you meant to call.”
Every time I hear this album I like it more than the last time. Spygenius’ Man On the Sea will be in rotation in this household for a very long time.
Spygenius are singer/guitarist/chief songwriter Peter Watts, bassist/vocalist Ruth Rogers, keyboardist/vocalist Matt Byrne and drummer/vocalist Alan Cannings. You can (and should!) get their fifth and latest LP from Big Stir Records. ORDER THE CD AND/OR VINYL HERE.