Fluid Ounces

Fluid Ounces

Vegetable Kingdom

Spongebath

“Welcome to the vegetable kingdom. Welcome to the loveliest sights that your eyes have ever spied upon. This time they’ll reap the fruits of that reward.” If those sights and fruits are multi-layered catchy melodic music and multi-level interpretive attainable lyrics, then your crop is definitely in.

Steve Martin once said that you can’t write happy songs about death and despair (while he was playing the banjo). I’ve always believed that until I heard Fl. Oz., where songwriter Seth Timbs does just that, except on the piano, and quite capably. As does the whole band, craftily and respectfully on this 5-song EP interim release. Together they overlay the pop and the jazz maps, and play them both, including all of the side streets. Seth’s piano chords seem to hop and trot and roll all over at once, and his songwriting is laced with an intelligent sense of humor, lyrically and musically.

“Sitting Beside Myself” describes why you can never go home (and may want to think twice about trying) in a pop frame holding some jazzily constructed Thelonious-like indulgences. “Stick in the Mud” combines the very young Elton John with the quirks and turns of Jellyfish. “Lend Me Your Ears” is a la Ben Folds doing his best Davy Jones top hat and cane ballad. Still, the signature Fl. Oz. sound (sort of an Elvis Costello/Steely Dan blend) holds it all together.

The effect is a moody introspective walk through the park on a warm sunny day. Musique Noir. That combined with the fact that I’m still spinning their critically acclaimed debut Big Notebook For Easy Piano explains why I’m anxiously salivating for their new album In the New Old Fashioned Way, due in ’99. http://www.spongebath.net; sudsyinc1@aol.com

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