Sarah Azzara has been tied up in the studio as well as at the drawing table in preparation for the release of her forthcoming full-length CD, "It Turns Us On." The record and its accompanying artwork have taken so bleeding long, that the band has decided to release a split CD with compatriots Sylvan Screen, a group of Baltimore denizens that are way too talented for their lack of age, durn their prematurely adept hides. Latest Records hopes the jaded hipsters of the world will enjoy this tasty little offering, which features three choice cuts by each band.
Sarah's tracks include "Space Virgin," a catchy, psychedelic exploration of... well, the important thing is that the Space Virgin is ready. To go to space. The second track, "Everything is Crystal", is exemplary of the kind of quietly angry wordplay that has become her lyrical trademark, embedded in the anthemic rock laid down by her expert band. The last track, "This Rant is a Rerun" is descibed by Azzara as "The second in a litany of songs which express my strong feelings about the current administration." Disguised in the lilting melody are some gutsy words which are emphasized by the freakout rock section which forms the coda.
Sarah is joined on her cuts by her longtime collaborators, drummer Ben Azzara (yes, THE Ben Azzara) and the very gifted guitarist Paul Miller. After beloved bass player Kendall Nordin went off to pursue educational adventures in Australia, the band was fortunate enough to be able to exploit the numerous talents of Barry Bocaner, featured here on bass and Wurlitzer.
"Arrows", the first track by Sylvan Screen is an excellent example of the tight and frentically-melodic sound that makes them immediately infectious. "Mask Maker" continues to showcase the challenging time signature changes, tricky lyrics, and encompassingly earnest rock which has earned them such a loyal following. The final cut, a live version of Latest Records staff's favorite Sylvan Screen tune "Underneath a Giant" is a veritable landscape of musical diversion, capped with what is possibly the most crowd-pleasing ending in many years.
Look out for the new full-length CD coming soon from Sarah Azzara. In the meantime, Latest Records hopes you will enjoy this delicious little appetizer.