Perfectos – The End Of The World (Again)
If you want to be overly simplistic about things, there are two ideologies in today’s world of independent rock music: There is the camp that thinks the best way to catch ears is by creating a unique sound as an artist using every experimental trick in the book.
Then there’s the camp that thinks all you need is a good, catchy song. That’s where Brenton Stanley, vocalist and guitarist of The Perfectos, falls.
Sure, he’s got organs and pianos backing his traditional rock three-piece foundation, but that’s where the bells and whistles end.[box] The Perfectos’ new seven-song EP, “The End Of The World (Again) … and Other Assorted Tall Tales,” is a throwback to two decades at once — the ’60s, in which the synthesizer was a rarity; and the ’90s, when the entire rock music scene was rebelling against it.[/box]
Stanley is the group’s songwriter (it started as his solo project) as well as a third-year law student at the University of Louisville. He said he’s very influenced by artists from the early decades of rock, like The Beatles. Yet a lot of the songs, like the title track, sound like they’ve more in common with a decade nearer and dearer to our hearts: the 1990s.
Stanley said that’s not intentional, but a byproduct of growing up in that era. It came naturally into the sound, also fueled by drummer Kasey Rogers and bass player Ryan Rumsey.
The album kicks off with its title track, The End of the World (Again), a reference to Harold Camping’s false rapture prophecies from early 2011. Stanley said the song, which features an upbeat swing rhythm topped off with some hard-hitting jabs at Camping, was inspired by a HuffPo article focusing on people who’d spent their life savings because of the pastor’s gospel.
The Perfectos – End Of The World (Again)
Stanley strikes out with lyrics like “He’s preaching the end of the world again/Cashing checks with a grin/Before we all (sin)?/Heed these words my friend/He’s gonna do you in/Cause he’s a a mad man preaching the end of the world again.”
While the lyrics might sound like Stanley’s trying to take a stand, he said that’s not the case. Instead, he’s just trying to tell a story.
If he ever is making a statement, it’s on his song A Drop In The Bucket. Though at first, it may sound like musings about the possibilities of life on another planet, the song eventually takes its political stance. What it’s really about, Stanley said, is global climate change and the environmentally destructive patterns of humanity.
He conjures images of the Gulf Oil Spill disaster when he ponders about his buddy on Mars.
“So I stare into the galaxy and I can’t help but wonderin’ is someone like me staring back at me/Has he taken better care? Is he breathing cleaner air? Or is he picking tar balls from his feet?”
The Perfectos – Drop In The Bucket
This album is a great listen. There’s not a song we’d say needs to be skipped over. Top to bottom, Stanley filled it with good, catchy songs with sing-along melodies and topics you can get behind.
Another song, Asleep and Dreaming, covers a situation pretty familiar to us young folk — sitting in college for years trying to earn the degrees that will make us bank — all the while piling up seemingly insurmountable debts in a down economy.
The Perfectos – Asleep And Dreaming
But at its heart, it’s an album filled with simple pop/rock tunes.[box type="shadow"] “If you can’t sit down and play it on an acoustic guitar and make it sound decent, the song isn’t good enough,” Stanley says of the album’s style. [/box]
That’s where he starts. It starts with him writing songs on an acoustic guitar and then doing demo recordings of that before sending it to Rogers and Rumsey, neither of whom live near Louisville. So they pull a Postal Service. For this group of songs, they came together in July at Stanley’s parents’ house in Illinois, where they set up shop and laid down the tracks that eventually became the EP.
Stanley said the album took about four months to complete with keyboards to be added and mixing to be done between classes. But since it is done, what now?
Well, not a whole lot.
The Perfectos aren’t really a band so much as a side project. With a singer in law school and a drummer touring with other bands, it’s tough to hit the road. After Stanley finishes law school, they may do more live shows and cut a full-length record in a fully equipped studio.
But for now, the sound of The Perfectos is confined to the recordings they made in their house and assembled for this EP. And in our opinion, it sounds pretty damn good anyway.
Wet Paint Rating: B
The album may not be a revolution, but it’s filled top to bottom with good songs.