School is in session, and the dog days of summer are here. Local artist Curb Service’s new release, Fly Casual, has the right sound for these last warm and hazy days. It’s a one-man band with Lorenzo Goetz’s Larry Gates, and the album only has five tracks, but it gives a solid look into where Curb Service is going and what he is leaving behind.
While the sound is low-key, each song has its own distinct character and attitude. With the beat — and scratch — heavy “Jezebelly” and the melodically driven and undeniably catchy “The Keeper,” Curb Service makes sure to try something new for every track.
Although all the songs are original, the EP’s reliance on hooks, electronic drum beats and witty, weaving lyrics makes the feel of the album very familiar. While lacking a taste of freshness from Curb Service’s previous work on Little Red Recovery Room, Fly Casual still manages to achieve the craft of pop sensibility that Gates was striving for in his debut album.
Reminiscent of Beck, Sublime or even Rage Against the Machine without the angst, Curb Service, unlike bringing the old into the new, has relished what has already worked without feeling any obligation to further develop a signature identity. That isn’t to say that “new” won’t be coming from Curb Service, but for now, if you’re looking for a few songs to ease out of summer and fall into a new semester, these tracks are familiar enough not to startle and provocative and well-composed enough to kick your brain back into thinking.

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