Although he is best known for being the drummer for Boston’s Bent Shapes, Andy Sadoway is also a splendid songwriter in his own right. His Str8 Sh00ter EP is a mellow counterpoint to the more high-energy work of the Bent Shapes (that group led by songwriter Ben Potrykus), but features many of the same tendencies towards classic pop.
Versatility is the game here, and Sadoway has tools aplenty in his farmer’s workshed from which to craft ideas. Str8 Sh00ter finds him teaming up with producer Ian Doerr (of Boston “stupor-group” Beach Toys) for a short collection of warm, strummy unassuming pop with a trademark witty/funny/personal lyrical bend.
Upon cueing this EP, the sound of a small beach cabana combo soon drifts over the sands with opening strains of “Str8 Sh00ter.” Here, a lean jumble of jazz chords is met with the reverberations of a sympathetic surf guitar and the rhumba-line of muted drums (see also “Don’t Mind”). “How does the world keep spinning when no one can make decisions?” sings Sadoway in his subtly deadpan sad-o-way. “The fork in the road became a fork in the toaster.” It’s an ever-so-loungy, yet personally intimate sound that harkens back to some of the more memorable “boyfriend pop” of the halcyon era of 80s UK indie labels like Sarah Records, El Records and Cherry Red, that gave us artists like Louis Phillipe, the King of Luxembourg, Ben Watt, Harvey Williams and the Field Mice–a welcome return to a sound not heard very much any more around these parts (or any).
“You Kept Things Intact” is similarly pocket-sized with a yummy West Coast slacker-folk vibe–almost like an campfire version of Beach Fossils, but with a bona fide lyricist. “It’s no surprise I internalize this,” sings Sadoway in a classic Richman-esque, self-referntial (read: cutely neurotic) manner. “‘Hey Andrew,” he goes on. “Haven’t you dragged out this situation?'” In the end it’s not certain if the boy gets the girl, but Sadoway reminds us that life is full of enough joys and prickly pears along the way to keep even the most humble of day-laborers whistling and thinking along the way.
Str8 Sh00ter is available on cassette via Father/Daughter Records or at Andy Sadoway’s Bandcamp page below