The Big Scary

The Four Seasons

by Dylan Nelson

18 September 2011

 
cover art

The Big Scary

The Four Seasons

(PID)
US: Import
UK: 14 Dec 2010

The four seasons—those old favorites, spring, summer, autumn and winter—get a gentle if somewhat mundane treatment from Australian folksy-popsy duo the Big Scary on The Four Seasons, an appropriately named compilation of the four season-themed EPs released during 2010. Combining soft guitar chords, soft piano chords, soft singing and the occasional dramatic cymbal crash, Tom Iansek and Jo Syme evoke the wistful, self-defeating optimism of an indie spring (“Spring”), the contemplative, earth-toned picturesqueness of a Sufjan-Stevens-themed fall (“Autumn”), and the bleak-but-beautiful delicacy of an exceptionally moody winter (“Winter”). The EPs are self-contained capsules, each with a different sound. For summer the duo plugs in the amps and takes off on a downright White Stripes-inspired binge. The result is an album full of jarring transitions. Even taken in chunks, the concept makes it too explicitly, outwardly pointed not to feel parochial; “Summer”, for example, with its muted, yearning organ and shivering piano keys, is a made-to-order reflection piece on the high bloom of natural life. Without the rest of the EP as context, it would be corny. Despite some clever turns of phrase and a charming chameleon quality, The Four Seasons suffers from the abstracted, sentimental natue-gazing of the record’s cyclical origins.

The Four Seasons

Rating:

//comments
//Mixed media
//Blogs

A Crooked and Unseen Highway: lowercase - "You're a King"

// Sound Affects

"Like too many great bands, Lowercase have never received their full due. Ragged, deeply, sometimes even awkwardly, personal music like theirs typically becomes the property of small but passionate fanbases.

READ the article