PRIMARY URL: http://www.thatoneeyedkid.com/
The third EP from Boston headquartered one man band That One Eyed Kid, Crash and Burn, is a delectable five song outing from the “band” mastermind Josh Friedman. Friedman’s talent for using electronic music in close quarters, intimate manner sets him apart from many similar performers. The production stands up to anything from any major – Friedman clearly embarked on this project with a focused idea of what he wanted these songs to sound like and achieves it with shockingly minimal effort. There’s undoubtedly the necessary discipline present to make these songs work, but talent will out and the five cuts on Crash and Burn conclusively prove he is one of the more impressive songwriters working on the indie scene today. His vocals help get all of this already fine material over with even greater ease – there’s something vitally engaging and yet inviting about Friedman’s voice from the first and it’s a quality that never fades.
It begins with swinging energy on the song “Bright Big Red”. Friedman’s a smart enough writer and performer that he understands exaggerating this energy can take a song into parody or burlesque territory, so “Bright Big Red” deftly straddles the line between too little and too much, erring on the right side throughout. Friedman gives an awesome vocal performance during this song and it helps get the EP off to a fast start. Crash and Burn doesn’t disappoint with its second song “Burn Out Right”. There’s a hard-hitting quality with this song than the beginning number and it experiments much less with things like tempo and changes. Instead, Friedman wants to provoke you both mentally and physically. The effort is a resounding success. He ditches the comparatively laid back vibe of the first two songs in favor of something much wilder and chaotic with the song “Native Advertising”. There’s an influence of golden oldie rock and roll in the song, naturally quite transformed in this modern context, but Friedman is a good enough writer to make those qualities come through in a style all his own. The EP’s use of double tracked and harmony vocals isn’t constant, but Friedman invariably shows an instinct for knowing when and where they can make a meaningful contribution.
He gets down and funky with the song “No Touching” and doesn’t sound at all out of place attempting to essay this R&B style. There’s some subtle changes in instrumentation that, naturally, accompany such a stab, but he keeps the song well within his electronic music skill set and it produces unusually memorable and faithful results. Crash and Burn closes with the song “Rewind” and it couldn’t be much different than the preceding cut. “Rewind” occupies a bigger stage and doesn’t aspire to the same sort of intimacy while nonetheless pushing the envelope in a more overt way that the previous track never had to. It’s the perfect flourish to end Crash and Burn on and That One Eyed Kid’s conclusion to this EP sets the stage for an undoubtedly brighter future to come.