“Greater Than” by Sharpless
With an apparent interest in continuing the enduring legacy of confessional alternative rock albums, Sharpless made their debut last year with a self-titled album that basically, for the lack of a better phrase, killed it. It was a scatterbrained power pop odyssey that owed its charms as much to an evident devotion to Rivers Cuomo as it did to its excitable home-brewed production quality.
So, when new Sharpless tracks began to emerge (this one and “Gaman”, which appears on the truly radical and possibly free The Epoch is Now compilation) I was kind of freaking out. After all, it’s always great when a band’s new material hits that instant sweet spot somewhere between familiarity and progression like this new Sharpless stuff does. It’s still paradoxically arena-sized bedroom pop but on what seems to be a larger scale.
For example, with “Greater Than”, front man Jack Greenleaf returns to the familiar coming-of-age themes of his first album with a sense of catharsis that resonates stronger than it did before. Though the thoughts and fears expressed are certainly specific, the personal details surrounding them are less so. The Greenleaf of 2011 would have pushed his mix tapes, letters, and imaginings out into the open to make his point. So far, the Greenleaf of 2012 has opted to strip his lyrical themes down to their base notion, sharing instead his developed musings and making his trepidations our own.
Another note. Via the magic of the internet, one is able to gather that members of Sharpless are way into Weezer, Arcade Fire, and Japanese pop group Shinsei Kamattechan. Whether or not it’s just the result of the power of suggestion, I must say that I hear the influence of all three artists in “Greater Than”. The breathy synth pads and clinking piano are particularly reminiscent of Shinsei Kamattechan.
Influences aside, Sharpless is pretty darn great and only getting better. If the rest of their new album ends up being as good as this track is I may never recover from a brutal onset of fan boy hysterics.
Woah, check out this sweet review of the single!
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