At just under 40 minutes, "Ears" gathers a collection of captivating guitar pop gems that manage to combine fatalism with not-yetdefeated hope, which seems to be an inherent quality of many of Smith's compositions. The references to Phil Spector, the Jesus & Mary Chain and Television Personalities are still present in well-crafted and immediate tracks like 'We'll Meet At Emily's', 'That Should Stand For Something' and 'Terror Bends'. They're hookladen songs that will have you humming all day long - you might clap your hands or snap your fingers too. Titles such as 'Reversal' or 'Genie Of New Jersey' and 'To Live And Die In The Airport Lounge' expand on those influences, sounding more atmospheric, reminiscent of the Chills and the pop side of John Cale and Brian Eno. They are catchy in a non-obvious way, loose recordings that let space for moods and ideas to bleed through the album, like the apparent dark tone that seems to permeate 'Reception', the jangly 'Heartless & Cruel' or 'Depression Kicks'. "Ears Like Golden Bats" is the third album by Brooklyn-based My Teenage Stride and the follow-up to 2005's "Major Major" (Becalmed KLECD 103). The heart of My Teenage Stride is multi-instrumentalist, singer and songwriter Jedediah Smith. Jed grew up in Massachusetts and at age 14 started playing guitar, soon adding bass, piano and drums to the mix. As soon as he could steal his older brother's Tascam 4-track, he was writing and recording songs as a one-man band, and by age 18 he had compiled several boxes of tapes and had already written 400 songs. Just over a decade later, he's written hundreds more, with no signs of slowing down. Although previous releases were mainly the work of Jed alone in the studio, many tracks on "Ears Like Golden Bats" have been recorded with the help of a stable band. The current My Teenage Stride line-up is Jedediah Smith (instruments, vocals), Jenny Logan (bass), Brett Whitmoyer (drums) and Dakkan Abbe (guitar).
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