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EP REVIEW: These Curious Thoughts - These Curious Thoughts
By Cyrus Rhodes - 10/10/2012 - 11:55 PM EDT

Artist: These Curious Thoughts
Album: These Curious Thoughts - EP
Label: Viaduct Records
Genre: Alternative Rock
Sounds Like: Flaming Lips,Death Cab for Cutie, Bare Naked Ladies, R.E.M.
Technical Grade: 8/10
Production/Musicianship Grade: 8/10
Commercial Value: 9/10
Overall Talent Level: 10/10
Songwriting Skills: 10/10
Performance Skill: 9/10
Best Songs: Lead Balloon, She is Love
Weakness: EP Release, Winded Songs
CD Review: Despite living on opposite sides of the pond signwriting duo of Sean Dunlop (Detroit) and Jamie Radford (London) A/K/A “These Curious Thoughts” collaborate brilliantly for their self-titled EP. Reading from their bio: As modern-day pen pals, Sean Dunlop (US) and Jamie Radford (UK) have utilized the Internet to remain in contact and compose their unique songs for nearly a decade. Being separated by theAtlantic Oceanhas had little effect on the productivity of this musical partnership. Radford provides lyrics and inspiration via email for Dunlop who then composes the music. The group has recently enlisted the talents of Sean Nasrey (Drums) and Dan Steffy (Bass) to perform their compositions live.

The EP kicks off with “Lead Balloon” a psychedelic rock groove against emotionally charged vocals, driving rock rhythm and well placed harmonies. Track 2 “She is Love” shifts gears a bit with solid low end groove, with alternative rock musical flow coupled with hooky harmonies and impressive vocal accents from Radford and company. Track 3 “John Wayne” shifts gears with its slithering musical intro eventually lending itself into a heartfelt rock ballad meshed with an infectious melody that flows and ebbs its way through fruition. The EP makes a solid first impression dishing out 3 rock solid songs in a row. I would classify this music as Alternative Rock with a College Rock Indie feel to it that is captivating and entertaining. As the CD unfolds I can hear many musical influences reminiscent of Flaming Lips,Death Cab for Cutie, Bare Naked Ladieswith perhaps a dash of early R.E.M. and They Might be Giants. Right from the start you will notice Radford and Dunlop feel quite comfortable just letting it all hang out musically, not holding anything back. The overall musical vibe has a nice psychedelic, indie feel to it. The guitar playing and singing is rock solid across they dish out mesmerizing writing and lyrical content. Radford’s voice goes down smooth and is full of passion, naked vulnerability and recklessness abandon. Also present are sporadic percussive elements, lush harmonies, impressive piano and well placed keyboard accents. The lyrical content is extremely creative and entertaining. No doubt some of the meanings of these songs is buried deep within the lyrical content. From psychedelic “Daughter of Morpheus” to “Lost in Confusion” the perfect finale statement – there is something for just about everyone.

All songs over 3.5 minutes tend to drag you to the finish line. I typically deduct 1 star for EP releases, The full length release is the best, most complstete snapshot to review and artists from.

These Curious Thoughts is a rock solid statement. Song for song, note for note its rock solid catalogue of music. It just has a nice feel good groove to it. Its strong suit – the song for song rock solid consistency and amazing songwriting prowess of these 2 lads. So if you like college alternative rock that dishes out a mercerizing Alternative rock edge then you should jump into this CD head first.

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