Perry Serpa and his band the Sharp Things craft a grandiose pop vibe -- part Scott Walker, part Elvis Costello -- on their debut, Here Comes the Sharp Things. Like Walker, Serpa's vocals are deep and grandiose, and his songwriting ranges from the Dylanesque "Boy's Club," to the straight-out-of-the-Bacharach-songbook "Vacationing." Serpa's influences make him the perfect American counterpart to Neil Hannon of England's the Divine Comedy, and the Sharp Things debut plays nicely as a companion to the Divine Comedy's Promenade. Less dark than Mercury Rev, less unhinged than the Flaming Lips, the Sharp Things' straightforward bombast sounds strange when compared to their contemporaries, but this record would have gone over big in the late '60s -- remember, Scott Walker's fan club at one point had more members than the Beatles' did. Still, beautifully arranged pop-folk, like the soaring, Bowie-esque "Lies About You and I," is timeless, and true fans of the genre will find this obscure gem and simply wear their copy out by playing it constantly.
AllMusic Review by Charles Spano