Morning Star (L'il Horn)
On their debut, the Sour Babies — great name — sounded a bit like Rufus Wainwright trying his hand at singing gothic folk. On Morning Star, their new EP, the seven-piece has upped the drama and moved into something more like Queen doing spaghetti-Western themes. With violins, accordions and guitars ringing out in the distance, it sounds as though the bad guys might gallop into town any second. Adding to the theatricality is singer-songwriter Brent Jamison's longwinded, meandering vocals, which have a way of either ascending or descending grandly. This can be cloying or convincing, depending on the song.
On "Parallax," vocalist Mary Sanders delivers an elegant, breezy melody, when all of a sudden Jamison barges in and crashes the party, delivering a never-ending, goofball vocal line that sounds like something out of a shelved Disney musical. On the other hand, there's the opening track "Vagaries & Cemeteries," which starts out Norah Jones-snoozy but gets a nice jolt when Jamison arrives to harmonize with Sanders' smoky vocals. I swear it sounds like a folked-out version of "Killer Queen." I'm into it. I just wish some of these good ideas were more frequently joined together in the same song.