Safe And Also No Fear

LAME-O / COOK­ING VINYL

Australian Guitar - - Technique - MATT DO­RIA

With the vivid and tri­umphant SafeAnd NoFear, it ap­pears Jake Ewald has fi­nally found his zen as a song­writer. The cuts feel com­fort­able, yet ex­cit­ing and ex­per­i­men­tal; the gui­tars are daz­zling and doughy and on the rare oc­ca­sion, sur­pris­ingly in­tense, and the dex­ter­ity with which Ewald’s vo­cals tra­verse them is some­thing of au­ric­u­lar wizardry. So too does the new­found full-band chemistry leave a siz­zling im­print, from the sen­ti­men­tal “One Day” to the rau­cous and rol­lick­ing “Good Ones”, to the dusky, dron­ing “Black Oak” (which feels like a spir­i­tual se­quel to another SBD gem, “104 De­grees”). Not quite as punchy or bold as Wel­come, but a def­i­nite step up from the lag­gard Birdie, LP3 peeks at a bright fu­ture ahead for this fiery Philly four­some.

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