Wednesday, October 30, 2013

REVIEW: Charlie Big Time - Sale or Return EP

There are few better answers to the question "why should I pay attention to releases other than albums?" than the words Charlie Big Time.  The Bolton, UK trio consisting of Chris Tiplady, Beth Arzy and Matthew Pendlebury crafts hyper-melodic guitar pop with vocals shared between Beth and Matthew.  The group's first release was an EP via Cloudberry in 2007.  Since then there have been several CBT tracks on compilations and another EP, Dishevelled Revellers on Matinee Recordings in 2012 after Beth joined the band.  But the only album was in 2008.

This year's pop nugget from CBT is the Sale or Return EP via Seattle's Jigsaw Records..  It features three tracks of expertly crafted guitar pop with soft vocals and engaging hooks.  As was the case with the 2012 EP, the first track is the showcase tune for me.  "A Sunday Afternoon Well Spent" is the kind of track capable of making a pop fan out of anyone.  The descending guitar chords and vocal interplay are earworms of the highest order.  The tempo slows for the gentle, beautiful title track.  The third track, "Pitiful, Delightful and Alarming" is a sunny pop tune.  The EP closes with reflective acoustic song "From the Cradle to the Bar", which I liked well enough to embed below the stream and video for "A Sunday Afternoon Well Spent".

Sale or Return is available at the Jigsaw website as a CD or digital download.  Charlie Big Time is not the most prolific of recording artists, so I recommend getting their take on pop music when it is available.

Bandcamp page for EP
Jigsaw Records

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