If you like ‘70s music with the hint of a modern edge, Bart By Bart will more than fit the bill.
Obvious Simpsons jokes aside, Bart is a Toronto band that digs into three out of four “p’s” of rock as outlined by Robert Pollard (ex of Guided By Voices): pop, progressive and psychedelic. (The only “p” missing here is punk.) Indeed, when you first hear the Bart By Bart EP, your initial reaction might be … hey, didn’t this already come out in 1972? The group successfully runs with the revisionist ball and makes music that sounds as though it came out of a particularly golden period of rock music, a time when it was expanding and blowing minds. That’s either Bart’s biggest asset or a major pain point, depending on how you feel. Let me put it this way: the first time I heard this four song EP, I thought it was nothing special. I thought I had heard this before, knowing that if this came out 40 years ago, it would be a classic. Now, not so much. But then something happens. The more you play the EP, the more the individual elements of these songs become apparent and I’ll be damned if this stuff doesn’t begin to crawl up your nose and hang out somewhere around your middle ear.
So Bart By Bart is really a short album you’ve got to be a little patient with. But once you do, the songs reveal themselves and you’ll go, “Hot sweet damn, this is tasty stuff.” You just have to let the songs marinade a bit. If you’re looking for a reference point as to what Bart sounds like, the Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger is as good as any (just without the female vocals). A lot of this is what you’d get if John Lennon got caught jamming with King Crimson -- with Lennon’s influence leading the way. (With none of that noodling that mars a bit of prog rock.) There’s certainly a pop flair to these psychedelic songs, and, I gotta admit, they catch you by surprise. Once they do, they pack a mighty wallop. Milhouse would rubber stamp this. (Groan, I know.) So, if you like ‘70s music with the hint of a modern edge, Bart By Bart will more than fit the bill. If you don’t, just give it time. Bart will seduce you, once you come back and revisit them.