Throw Me The Statue Purpleface [EP]

[Secretly Canadian; 2009]

Styles: indie pop

Throw Me The Statue's four-song downshift Purpleface maintains some of the unique texturing of their acclaimed debut Moonbeams, but it also unfortunately presents a jaded frown. Dwelling on the losses and improbable dreams of the shy, the EP staggers under wavering guitar distortion and injured piano chords, befitting of bitter Sunday errands. And while the stories are memorable and sincere, there's little of the compulsion that would effortlessly exude from Throw Me The Statue's lighter work.

The melancholy is most damaging on "Written In Heart Signs Faintly," which originally appeared on Moonbeams as a thin, intimate acoustic guitar lament. On Purpleface, the song is buried in attic dust and rotary telephone distance. Flattening the vocals and guitar to make space for anxious tin-can drums and a beat up organ leave the tracked drained of its blood. Lines like "Another girl's eyes got wet/ I was a total fool" sound emotionally removed, since-rationalized, coped-with, and accepted. Next, singer Scott Reitherman's abandonment sees him sleep-talk through "Honeybee," as the band members interject their most defeated wanderings. Failing to unify, Throw Me The Statue stray from an undefined path until the song collapses in on itself at the three-minute mark.

Closing the release, "Ship" chugs along to a regimented snare cadence before giving way to the EP's shiniest moment. Oscillating lead guitar blends with subtle horn ruffles and plastic-coated synth taps as the sun pours through an uncurtained window during the song's chorus. The window doesn't open though, and the group remains confined while Reitherman chants, "Oh she comes alive, breaking the hearts of all men."

Claustrophobic and sorrowful, Purpleface feels like a short bout of seasonal depression. Hopefully after crying into the pillows here, Throw Me The Statue can pick their heads up and return with something brighter next time, because the despondency isn't working for them.

1. That's How You Win
2. Written In Heart Signs, Faintly
3. Honeybee
4. Ship

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