CD Review: Shear Shazar's "Mess You Up" | Music | Hudson Valley | Chronogram Magazine

Arts & Culture » Music

CD Review: Shear Shazar's "Mess You Up"

by

comment
cd-shear-shazar.jpg

Lest anyone forget Woodstock's own songwriting royals Jules Shear and Pal Shazar each once fronted '80s rock 'n' roll bands—Jules and the Polar Bears and Slow Children, respectively—Mess You Up opens with a squeal of feedback and big drums drenched in reverb. The ensuing rocker "Road Life" sets the tone for this all-too-brief five-song EP, the sophomore release from a long-time couple only recently conjoined in artistic endeavor. Their self-titled 2013 debut tended more toward chamber pop and folk, but Mess You Up, while not all rock, certainly puts the pedal to the metal 3/5ths of the time.

Producer Dave Cook provides a broad palette, as Shear and Mark Bosch (Ian Hunter) wield electric guitars with bracing ferocity, Gail Ann Dorsey (David Bowie) lays down propulsive bass, and drummer Chris Gartmann (3) keeps it all rolling down the highway for the up-tempo numbers. For the lighter touch, Professor Louie (the Crowmatix) adds delicate piano to the bitter ballad "Takeout," on which Shear wryly sings, "The service at the takeout place made me curse / but I wish that it had gotten worse." This line comes after a gripping recitation where, as is usually the case with Shear, we hang on every deliciously wrought syllable. Shazar's distinctive sweet 'n' sour delivery really shines on a show-stopping, slow-burn version of the 1965 Lesley Gore pop lament "It's My Party," which, with Shear harmonizing, this duo makes its own. Shear-shazar.com.

Add a comment

Latest in Arts & Culture

  • Autumn Awaits: Activities to Enjoy This Season in Nyack
  • Autumn Awaits: Activities to Enjoy This Season in Nyack

    With high summer quickly transforming into crisp autumn in the Hudson Valley, residents and visitors alike are looking for Covid-safe ways to continue enjoying the best of what the region has to offer. And Nyack, with its diverse shopping, dining, and recreation set against a backdrop of the gorgeous Hudson River, is welcoming them with open arms.
    • Sep 23, 2021
  • The Intersection of Agriculture and Art
  • The Intersection of Agriculture and Art

    The Barns Art Center in East Fishkill Kicks Off Its Fall Season with a Harvest Festival and a Docuseries on Local Farmers
    • Sep 23, 2021
  • Design Destination: Field + Supply’s Fall MRKT Returns to Hutton Brickyards
  • Design Destination: Field + Supply’s Fall MRKT Returns to Hutton Brickyards

    Lovers of craft and design, rejoice! Field+Supply’s Fall MRKT is making a much-anticipated return to Hutton Brickyards, where its 2019 celebration of all things artisan-made drew about 9,000 visitors to peruse, purchase, and play on the Kingston waterfront. From high-end furniture and home decor to apothecary wares, ceramics, clothing, jewelry, and small-batch food and beverage makers, the three-day event promises to be a veritable showcase of one-of-a-kind creators.
    • Sep 21, 2021