Friday, May 23, 2014

CASSETTE REVIEW: Sean Patrick Sullivan “Devil Knows: Selected Demos” (Juniper Tree Songs)

            For what is called “Selected Demos”, these songs are actually quite good and what is over twenty songs long could easily pass as a full length, if only because so much more has been made out of so much less in the past. 

            Sean Patrick Sullivan reminds me of Daniel Johnston in ways, only not quite.  I really feel like on many levels he's the anti-Daniel Johnston, though I'm not entirely certain what that means.  Most of these songs have that home recorded vibe that I like (And that you should come to expect from JTS as a label) and on the whole they're just really good.

            There is a Talking Heads cover in here for good measure, but as we venture onto Side B as well the music drifts more from that of Johnston to something like High Pop, where there is a garage surf sort of sound.   Some songs can be instrumental, yet some also feature female vocals and so it's an interesting mix overall.

            Perhaps the true testament to how great these songs in fact are is that as being “Selected Demos”, you wouldn't expect them to fit together as well as they do to form the feel of an entire album.    Imagine trying to make a puzzle complete out of twenty four pieces from twenty four different puzzles.   It seems like it'd be impossible, but that is seemingly what is going on with this cassette. 

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