Studio Debut From Surprise Me Mr. Davis

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Mag 28 2010, 4:16

The only fault with The Man Who Eats Morning For Breakfast by Surprise Me Mr. Davis is that it is an EP, not a full length album. After playing together live for six years, they've written more than enough songs for a whole album and it would've been nice to hear a full album with a few more songs. The music is simply flawless, and even though it's only an EP, it may be my favorite album of 2010 so far. It's the kind of album that you can listen to everyday for a week, and each day, you will have a new favorite song.

Surprise Me Mr. Davis is a supergroup comprised of rock trio The Slip bolstered by the additions of singer songwriter Nathan Moore and keyboardist Marco Benevento. The band quickly grabs the listener's attention with the second song, "Sissyfuss," a heavy blues rocker. The song is rock and roll at its finest with Moore's stick it to the man lyrics sung in harmony with Brad Barr over a heavy blues riff. Brad Barr adds a frantic guitar solo that suits the song perfectly, and it's definitely one of the best songs on the record. Surprise Me Mr. Davis are a rock and roll band more than anything else, but rockers like "Sissyfuss" are complemented by slow ballads like "Joelle" which is reminiscent of some of Bob Dylan's recent work with its stunning, haunting beauty. The band even tries their hand at punk rock with good results on "I'm No Good At All."

Musically, the band is dominated by Andrew Barr's powerful drumming, Marc Friedman's pounding basslines, and Brad Barr's guitar wizardry. Barr is one of the most talented and unique guitarists playing today, and reminds me of Wilco's Nels Cline with his ability to jump from rock and roll to jazz to country songs and fit in perfectly. His playing is not only technically impressive, but constantly surprising and unusual. He is also a strong vocalist, and often shares lead singing duties with Nathan Moore, creating gorgeous harmonies on "One Sick Knave" and the buoyant sixties pop of "Emily Green." The band's newest member, Benevento, has the ability to take over any song with his playing, but is content to mostly stay in the background and create ethereal textures, giving some songs an atmospheric quality. Each member contributes to the group's fresh sound, and this EP leaves the listener desperate for a full length album from Surprise Me Mr. Davis and hoping that they continue to tour and play together.

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