Pittsburgh four-piece Seven Color Sky are one of the American underground's best kept secrets. While the likes of The Killers and The Bravery go on to sell out arena-sized venues and collect platinum stained discs, SCS continue to make arguably better records.
'The Better Looking EP' follows on from last year's 'Secrets About The Stars' album, except while the obvious reference points such as The Cure, The Cars and the Psychedelic Furs - due in no small part to Furs' guitarist John Ashton's production job on all four tracks - remain, the two things that set Seven Color Sky apart from the others are the almost picturesque propensity of their lyrics and the unassuming vocal deities of Scott Bedillion.
The title track 'Better Looking' and second track 'Next Day' fit side-by-side almost like parts 1 & 2 of a low-budget kitchen sink drama, while the equally perplexing 'A Selfless Life' could almost have been lifted from The Cure's 'Disintegration', such are the uneasy pendulum dynamics that switch from elation to agitation in little under three minutes.
The pick of the bunch though is 'Fade', a slow burning crusade that builds around a simplistic keyboard riff in a similar way to Martha And The Muffins' 'Echo Beach', only whereas the former could be considered happy-go-lucky pop, 'Fade' is more about feeling lucky that happiness has gone - or something along those lines.
With a slight nod to the likes of Morrissey and Marc Almond also, Seven Color Sky are clearly sited at the less panoramic view of the square-shaped window of the 80s Play School to Mr Brightside, and all the better for it too.
Available from www.cdbaby.com and uk.towerrecords.com
9Dom Gourlay's Score