Sciflyer: Energizer (Clairecords, 2015)

Sciflyer: Energizer (Clairecords, 2015)

by Jason 

Sciflyer’s Energizer is a five-song collection of lost tracks that have been reborn. The first of these tracks was “Energizer”, which was part of a recording session from 2003 after the Melt period. Also found within this mix of lost songs was a very different version of “You’re From the Ocean” which is a very different from the version on Fair Weather Karma. “Letting Go of Everything” is a left-over piece from the sessions that resulted in They Only Believe in the Moon, which was released in 2014. “Beyond the Event Horizon” is a live version of a track from the now disowned 2001 self-titled album. “Time Bomb” is a track left off The Age of Lovely, Intimate Things back in 2005. Steve Kennedy, the driving force behind Sciflyer, says that Energizer is a “small collection of miscellaneous debris recovered from the wreckage.” What is apparent, however, is that Sciflyer’s wreckage is hardly undeserving of praise.

“Energizer” begins this five-song EP with jangly, bright guitars and rattling open high hat. The bass line is driving and sits nicely in the pocket. Thematically, Kennedy is pleading, perhaps, to someone he’s attracted to, whether a character in a song or an expression of real life. He sings “Energize me/I want you to tune me in/turn me on/stop my time/I want you to fuck me up/burn me down/I bet you could blow my mind”. Everything here is bright, shiny, mind-bending, and slightly dreamy with vocals sunk deep into the mix for flavor. “You’re From the Ocean [Totally Alternate Version]” is aggressive with driving bass and drums and loud walls of sound. Kennedy’s vocals are more up front although still awash in reverb. The bridge in this track is particularly noticeable in all the right ways. The lyrics, a sort of call to reject a problem person or situation, are on par with the tone of the song in general.

“Letting Go of Everything” is a slow, dreamy piece with Kennedy whispering to the listener through lightly strummed guitar, stripped down drums, and subtle bass. The melancholy nature of the track is reflected in the lyrics, “begin today I’m letting go of everything/you can play but it’s all just confusion/you might win but it’s all the still the same”. “Beyond the Event Horizon” happens to be one of my favorite Sciflyer songs and this live rendition of the tune demonstrates the band’s prowess live and in action. It’s explosive and the live recording is of a great quality. The driving bass and drums and the incredible guitar hooks in this track are addictive and expertly executed. “Time Bomb” begins full and moves into a sort of dreamy, muddied up quietness. There is a brightness here alongside more depressing lyrics, which reflects what Sciflyer delivers on The Age of Lovely, Intimate Things. It’s a piece punctuated by bright guitar moments and crashing cymbals that lift the listener out of the slower moments.

I’m personally grateful that Steve Kennedy resurrected these tracks from the wreckage. More Sciflyer is always good and these five songs are glorious snapshots into the various eras of the band. This EP spans the band’s career, from the Self-Titled all the way to the most recent They Only Believe in the Moon. Pick it up!

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