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Surprise Me Mr. Davis - That Man Eats Morning For... Album Cover
Author's Rating
Vocals 8.25
Musicianship 8.25
Lyrics 8.5
Production 8.5
Creativity 8.25
Lasting Value 8.5
Reviewer Tilt 8.75
Final Verdict: 84%
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Surprise Me Mr. Davis - That Man Eats Morning For...

Reviewed by: Gregory Robson (09/28/10)
Surprise Me Mr. Davis - That Man Eats Morning For Breakfast
Record Label: Royal Potato Family
Release Date: April 13, 2010


Who?
Surprise Me Mr. Davis are a quintet comprised of musicians from Montreal, Brooklyn and the Shenandaoh Valley. That Man Eats Morning for Breakfast is their debut EP. The band also includes Absolute 100 artist Nathan Moore.

How is it?
Fantastic. There's an amalgam of influences all over this disc and the songs are truly something to treasure. Opener "Roses in Bottles," is spacy and ambient, with a U2 vibe. There's a sheen and gloss that's gorgeous, winsome and worth remembering. The song itself shuffles along through a layered landscape of ringing guitars, lush pianos and a drug-induced haze. Second cut "Sissyfuss," is classic Southern rock a la Black Crowes and My Morning Jacket. The band wears their guitar mettle to a tee here and the end result is definitely worth revisiting. One can only imagine the song is an absolute smash in a live setting.

On the Joseph Arthur-esque "One Sick Knave" the group boasts circular guitars and woozy murmurings as they attempt to tackle introspection. Of all the songs on the disc this probably feels the most misplaced but it is certainly not withour its charms. Perhaps if it appeared later on the disc it might have had more effect, but at best that's just armchair speculation. The chaotic ruckus of "I'm No Good At All" is messy and dissonant and at this point the disc threatens to settle into mediocrity. But the strength of a good band is knowing when to pick it up and the carefree whimsy of "Emily Green" is veritable proof of that very thing.

Strutting and bouncing along not unlike Golden Smog, "Emily Green" is a return to the Southern rock charm of "Sissyfuss," and seems to find the band in their most comfortable setting. The seven-minute "Joelle," slowly crawls along with langurous guitar work and a rhythm section as thick as summer heat. Serpentine and serious, "Joelle," has an epic and haunting nature that makes the case that the song is arguably the disc's apex. The vernal album closer "Home Away From Home," revisit the rustic sentiments of two of the disc's earlier songs and moves along with a crisp maturity that's both alarming and inviting.

While many bands would probably be met with criticism for throwing together a slew of styles into one seven-song EP, That Man Eats Morning For Breakfast wears the variety well. Sure enough that's the sign of a band that knows their way around a song. If this is just the beginning, a most promising future is certainly in store.

Track Listing 1. Roses in Bottles
2. Sissyfuss
3. One Sick Knave
4. I'm No Good At All
5. Emily Green
6. Joelle
7. Home Away From Home


Recommended If You Like Jolene, My Morning Jacket, Joseph Arthur, Black Crowes


Find Them Here www.SurpriseMeMrDavis.com
 
Displaying posts 1 - 12 of 12
07:47 AM on 09/28/10
#2
And Hours Pass
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I can't wait to try this band out. Another great review from Mr. Robson!

(By the way, not sure you saw it, but there was a poll for best reviewer awhile back that a few reviewers were accidentally left off of. From the comments in the thread alone, looks like you would've had it by a landslide. You certainly had my vote.)
08:18 AM on 09/28/10
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Gregory Robson
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I can't wait to try this band out. Another great review from Mr. Robson!

(By the way, not sure you saw it, but there was a poll for best reviewer awhile back that a few reviewers were accidentally left off of. From the comments in the thread alone, looks like you would've had it by a landslide. You certainly had my vote.)
Quite kind of you. Humbled by your comments. I'm not out to win any votes or accolades, just trying to pass along under-the-radar music that deserves wider audiences. But thank you again. Truly kind of you.
08:33 AM on 09/28/10
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Quite kind of you. Humbled by your comments. I'm not out to win any votes or accolades, just trying to pass along under-the-radar music that deserves wider audiences. But thank you again. Truly kind of you.
Also wanted to mention that I'm seeing Greg Laswell in October (who I discovered from one of your reviews). Very excited!

Quite a big fan of the new Sara Bareilles album as well (I know this is probably not your go-to style of music), so the show with the two of them should be fantastic.

Neil Avron really did a great job on her album, so it might be worth a listen if you like to hear producers venturing into somewhat different genres than they usually live in.
08:44 AM on 09/28/10
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Gregory Robson
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Also wanted to mention that I'm seeing Greg Laswell in October (who I discovered from one of your reviews). Very excited!

Quite a big fan of the new Sara Bareilles album as well (I know this is probably not your go-to style of music), so the show with the two of them should be fantastic.

Neil Avron really did a great job on her album, so it might be worth a listen if you like to hear producers venturing into somewhat different genres than they usually live in.
I <3 Sara B. Seen her live three times.
11:58 AM on 09/28/10
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A G. Smog reference might have perked me enough to check this out. Always with the good recommendations, Greg. Who are you connected with - as in record labels and promotions - to get the heads up on bands in this genre?
12:51 PM on 09/28/10
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Gregory Robson
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A G. Smog reference might have perked me enough to check this out. Always with the good recommendations, Greg. Who are you connected with - as in record labels and promotions - to get the heads up on bands in this genre?
It varies really. Can't pin it to one resource. Send me a PM, I'll hook you up.
05:40 PM on 09/28/10
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I <3 Sara B. Seen her live three times.
Your music taste never ceases to impress. I'm absolutely loving her new album. It's renewed my faith in pop music. Should I be expecting a Robson review for it?
04:40 AM on 09/29/10
#9
Gregory Robson
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Your music taste never ceases to impress. I'm absolutely loving her new album. It's renewed my faith in pop music. Should I be expecting a Robson review for it?
Nope. Not doing it But I'm humbled you thought of me.
08:42 AM on 09/29/10
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solid review and album. check out http://www.myspace.com/theslipmusic they are 3/5 of surprise me mr. davis members, and they're also fantastic.
03:09 PM on 09/29/10
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solid review and album. check out http://www.myspace.com/theslipmusic they are 3/5 of surprise me mr. davis members, and they're also fantastic.
Is this the same The Slip that was behind Life in Disguise?
11:54 PM on 09/29/10
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Is this the same The Slip that was behind Life in Disguise?
yes sir. they're truly amazing, most of their songs on their latest album"Eisenhower" get the highest play count in my itunes. oh they also have side project http://www.thebarrbrothers.com/
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