Friday, February 23, 2007

The Hazy Davys' "Teenage Diplomats":
a review

“Wake up, wake up, I don’t know what’s going on!”

Richard Soos is a teacher. Like all good teachers, he’s a learner first of all. During the years, his especially empathic, curiosity-led ear has taken him rambling through a real wide deal of sounds and rhymes, no less than his never eased brains have got him introspecting and dissecting a whole blob of human emotions. By doing, and to do this, Richard must have quickly learned that you don’t get any far if you play by the rules (ok, George W. Bush learned that, too, but their goals are all but similar). This may seem contradictory, since he’s a teacher, but contradiction is probably what this shocking new cd is all about. So, like most excellent teachers, Soos has pushed hard on the pedal of contradiction, and he’s done it to the point of stealing the identity of someone who doesn’t have any, or covering songs that not even the authors perform, or again dissolving his and other identities into a fluffy misty project - the Hazy Davys – where none of us is anybody, and all of us are someone else. You included, Mr./Mrs. Reader.

The result is a brainstorming trip into the subterraneans of most common, and detested, human feelings nowadays. The Hazy Davys sing about frustration, insecurity, existential disappointment, stupid anger and fear, egotic hyperactivism, senseless hope and videogame metaphorising (just to make few examples). But they do not forget the sad condition of today’s world, and are moved by a deep will to understand and make a stand against – for instance – war’s implicit injustice. All this may sound dark or even ambitious, but it sure is not. First, the Hazy Davys do it for the sake of their own surviving: like it is sung in the first song, “Believe Me”, they are opening the garage door to test that they can really be invincible after years of depressing music. Second, the Hazy Davys slide you into this gigantic group self-analysis without even letting you know, sticking to their cryptic witty smile which even indicates a healing opportunity. Of course the cure is a contradiction once again, a Rock’n’Roll Preacher who’s worse than a gangster and better... well, than a teacher.

“It’s pouring, it’s raining - the guitars are complaining”

On the side of sounds, “Teenage Diplomats” is probably the most modern, and the bravest sounding in Richard Soos and his friends’ cd basket. Don’t be mislead by Soos being from Texas, nore by his being an excellent fiddler and traditional guitar player (what he proved on the “Fiddlin’ in Sabinal” cd). This one project musically roots into the whole wide kaleidoscope of sounds that built up what we could call the “rock culture”. It’s got Dr. John, techno-punk, folk’n’roll, postmodern disco-trash, swing and strings, croony whispers, a cappella nightmares, and much more. And, all this comes out through an electronic machinery treatment that mixes it all up, shakes it all, puts it upside down, and then below your feet. Just that your feet ain’t there anymore. On the side of vocals, the Hazy Davys do not only “sound”, but as the cd spins you can hear’em cry, laugh, moan and weep... you can hear the singer’s voice become two, twenty, millions or none, as an outstandingly imperfect and only somehow disturbing metaphor of the 20th and 21st century schizoid teacher, or learner. You can hear dissonant vocals and vocalising consonants. This does not mean they sound harsh, though this cd may not be an immediate ear catcher. Instead of politely knocking on your ear, the Hazy Davys rather stick their paranoia-trembling fingers deep into it. They do it with a smile, pretending they’re doing something else, but then they push so deep that they become one of the best market, and less harmful, brain stimulators I’ve known in years – and I have tried many.

“You can paint your heart black – as a form of camouflage”

The Hazy Davys have put on a mask with Richard Soos’ face, in order to push you and allow you to put down your own instead. Missing this opportuniy could be a serious mistake for anyone reading this review, so serious that he/she would never know. “I want the world to see, you could have it all”. I took the challenge, and as my neighbors know quite well by now, most of my recently available watts have been dedicated to this amazing, absolutely uncomparable, unconceivable, unrepeatable product of post-Freudian electronic poetic punky pop. And I feel this could just be the beginning. I’m starting to practice some different use of the item. My cat has already shown some tendency to using it for learning the language of dogs. I licked a little corner of it before having my daily dose of indian gumbo mustard spaghetti fried, and “Teenage Diplomats” made it all taste like a deliciously rotten strawberry topping when strawberry topping is the only cure for depression and panic attacks. Some blogs are beginning to rumor about a role of the Hazy Davys in the falling of Italian Government. Now I’m using “Teenage Diplomats” as a gel over my sprained ankles, which allowed the cd to display itself as a perfect gift for today’s girl of my life. Finally, using it as a vacuum cleaner filter resulted in a perfect cure against others-induced self-phobia.

Now I hear you’re still wondering why is the cd called “Teenage Diplomats”. Geez, where the hell were you as I was writing the part about contradiction? And, most of all, haven’t you yet realized that you can call these 22 and-a-ghost tracks any name you want? “Everybody! It’s time to feel insecure...” the Hazy Davys shout. What are you waiting for, before putting your hand on a cd that’s as insane as the idea of “health” in the 21st century – do you want it to become something else?! I suggest that you do not wait, and become a Hazy Davy before The Hazy Davys become you. And if you don’t believe them, please believe me if you can...

davide ravera “hazydavey” or “hd”
february 23, 2007