Review: Pachyderm – “I’m Not Happy, I’m Just High” EP

Consider this the fresh-faced first entry of the new year in Pittsburgh Single of the Year territory.

The oft-engaging Pachyderm channels The Sea and Cake and the emotional heft of a romantic relationship gone awry on “I’m Not Happy, I’m Just High,” a new two-song EP now available on Bandcamp. It does this, and this is no small feat, with a shimmering, lullaby-ish guitar motif on the title track that’s positively buttery in the most post-pop of senses; it will utterly force you to reconsider the singer-songwriter’s line between lament and regret. (The song, in short, is the stuff that makes Sam Prekop blush.)

The Burgh-based quintet also pulls off the decidedly ironic sugar-sweetness of the title track seemingly so casually (the vocals are delivered, at times, in almost an adenoidal dead-pan), which only heightens the sense of excitement. Definitely worth the price of “name your price.”

The “B-side,” which Pachyderm coins a “bee-side,” features the biting lyrics and quirky pop- and blues-isms of “Songs About The Beach,” lamenting “your people,” the nature of extroverts and, of course, “shitty music” and “shitty beer.” Yes, the lyrics – sometimes forked, sometimes tongue-in-cheek – try to steal the show but my ear kept wandering back to that electric guitar, played seemingly through an old tube-amp, once unassuming and once scene-stealing, and featuring (at different times of course) a little doo-wop funkiness and some scorching, manic guitar solo-age. Impressive!

If this is any indication of what’s coming on the soon-to-be-released Verge LP, which this release most definitely teases, I am in. – Justin Vellucci, Punksburgh, Jan. 23, 2018

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