Precious

Precious

Bi-Curious George EP

hereiam

I’ll start this off by saying that Precious is one of my new favorite local bands. Not that they’re new, by any stretch of the imagination — they’ve been brandishing their particular brand of precocious weirdness for over three years, and have it polished to a blinding sheen on this odd gem of a debut. “Overcometh” begins with an insistent grunge riff that quickly falls into off-kilter down-beats of clean guitar and mysterious bass punches. Singer/songwriter Steve Gawron comes off like Russell Mael of Sparks with his seeming falsetto and lyrics involving baby kangaroos. Joe Panton counters Gawron’s schizoid guitar moods with loopy, slidey bass lines — legato is the word here. Matt Bloodwell’s feisty drum work ripples and strokes this song under the chin. A sparse and introspective chasm of sound effects involving toys, electronic tinges, and the distant thunder of distorted guitars bridges the gap between this song and the brooding atmosphere of “Sire,” featuring Gawron on acoustic guitar. A tender intro leads up to an otherworldly chorus of multi-tracked falsetto vocals. Left of center, just a tad.

The real screaming reward on this too-short offering is “Bi-Curious George,” two minutes and seven seconds of radio-ready, toe-stomping, finger-in-your-eye rock. Homophobes beware, Gawron uses that sacred manly sport of football as a receptacle for his musings, including “locker room showers just feel too right/ appro-peaux, quarterback, lookin’ for my center.” This, more than ever, sounds like Sparks — from the Todd Rundgren era. High-falutin’ rock. It needs to be played on the radio, if just for the sight of some hard-hat wearing, tool-belt slinging’ man head-banging along to it and then realizing what the words mean. Not since “Smells Like Teen Spirit” has there been an opportunity for a song to fuck so many minds. A stuttering hard edged riff gilds the underbelly of this half-paced mosh, big crunchy wafers of feedbacking squall and a solo from Gawron that could either be masterful or awful, depending on your state of mind — I suppose. Gawron sells himself as cover boy within the liner notes, with extra special thanks to his band.

There are balls o’plenty rebounding around this project, and methinks that jackpot will be achieved in short order. Get this. hereiam music, P.O. Box 536851, Orlando, FL 32853-8851; http://www.preciouspages.com

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