Sometimes bands don’t make it. Even the really good ones have a hard time breaking through and getting heard. So it always warms my musical heart when someone who didn’t make it decides to give it another go. From the ashes of The Great American Novel came the band Lame (based for a short time in LA), now (in NYC) known as The Romantic Comedy-featuring Layne Montgomery and Aidan Shepard. Live, they’re joined by former TGAN member Pete Kilpin on guitar and Max Miller on bass.
As a debut EP, Let’s Be Sad Together gives a good sense of the music The Romantic Comedy is interested in making going forward. Montgomery continues his search for human connection in the great millennial disconnect that comes along with having everything at your fingertips 24/7. The record (produced by former Passion Pit member Ayad Al Adhamy) is much more polished than I expected, sounding almost like the Fountains Of Wayne albums of the mid-90’s (with a little more synth).
The opening guitar on the second track, “The Thirst,” are some real arena-filling, next-level stuff. It could’ve been created by Rick Nielsen and Dave Keuning in some sort of Nightmare On Elm Street-type shared dream they’re so good. The guitar falls away rather quickly and then comes back in the chorus, boosting the resonance of the heartache of rejection felt throughout the song. The solo, played by producer Ayad, in the last third of the song proves that riff isn’t a fluke-these guys know how to shred with the best of them.
“It’s Alright To Feel” is probably my favorite of the four songs on the EP. The music is anthemic and easy to sing along with, and the lyrics find a great mix of wisdom and biting wit: “You’re still so young, your future’s free. You will be loved, but not by me. Don’t get mad, you need to learn. Don’t get sad, you will get burned.” The final stanza of “It’s alright to love and be loved” acts as a reminder that following your heart might end in pain, but it’s worth it.
Let’s Be Sad Together comes out tomorrow on iTunes at the cheap price of $3.96. You can pre-order it today or get it later at this link.
A special shout-out to Layne for including a reference to That Thing You Do! on the EP. Hopefully when they put out a full-length they’ll have a track called “You’re My Biggest Fan.”