Damn Rough Night EP
The four ultra-catchy songs on this digital teaser EP by up-and-coming Dallas quintet Artist Vs Poet offer irrefutable evidence that it is possible to write quality, radio-ready pop-rock songs in 2009 that don't have pseudo-unfettered screaming in them. Indeed, when vocalist Tarcy Thomason reaches the top of his range, he sounds more like Coheed And Cambria's Claudio Sanchez than the Used's Bert McCracken. The title track tells a story of drunkenness and debauchery on the narrator's 21st birthday, yet remains resolutely PG-13, and in the process encapsulates Artist Vs Poet's appeal. They're not trying to wallow in darkness and despair to prove their depth. They want to write memorable, melodic songs with irresistible choruses, and they do it seemingly without breaking a sweat or mussing their perfectly floppy hair. Let's hope they can come up with 10 or 12 more for their full-length debut (due this March), because the small portions are the most frustrating thing about the band's output.