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Although judging a book by its cover is a dangerous game, a band’s name can give the listener several important clues as to what to expect before even pressing play. Thus it should come as no surprise that NYDTyson, short for Neil Young deGrasse Tyson is steeped in a combination of irreverent fun and lofty goals, and on their debut EP, If You’re So Smart, Why Are You So Sad? they offer such an introductory glimpse into their world. Centered around two friends from Los Angeles, NYDTyson takes standard garage rock fare and subverts the entire genre with left of center influences and ideas which are traditionally diametrically opposed to the style.
On songs like “What Did You Say?” and “Neanderthal,” the band sounds deceivingly like a typical garage band, albeit a highly original and tuneful one. But NYDTyson truly strikes out elsewhere on the rest of the EP, especially with the smooth jam “Who Cares?” and the closing ballad, “I Think We Both Know.” Unlike the vast majority of “garage” bands, NYDTyson are completely comfortable with stripping back the fuzz and exposing the fantastically catchy melodies from within. In reality, If You’re So Smart is actually much closer to art pop disguised with distortion than anything else, ultimately creating an experience that only reveals and intensifies with closer listening.
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