Trusting Tyler - Everything Is Not Okay, Dee Dee
Record Label: Slap Happy Records
Release Date: December, 2011
Anthony Mckee, erstwhile vocalist of staged.fight!, authors the five acoustically driven tunes that show up on Trusting Tyler’s new EP, Everything Is Not Okay, Dee Dee. This time around, though, he plays every instrument and acts as the record’s sole engineer. Despite tracking in ‘catch as catch can’ fashion, the production is keen, and the platitudes of a “singer/songwriter” are virtually avoided.
“All My Lovely Days” opens with a swift and rousing melody, and follows with sing-along lyrics that wax nostalgic. That bittersweetness is commonplace for EINODD. It’s perpetually heart-on-sleeve, albeit a hardened one, cemented in the oddly upbeat ender: “Welcome Home, Trooper.” With lines like, “They’ll say things, like, “He’d done his best,” but, if I’d done my best, I’d be home,” acerbic wit is routine. The words are doubly sardonic when coupled with the thought that Anthony Mckee is currently serving a tour of duty overseas. A song long past due — It doesn't shake a fist at the powers that be, or rub the belly of the Bible belt. Nobody gets a boot (or Chuck Taylor) in the ass, and for that, the sentiment is all the more valid.
It’s only in the softly bopping ditty, “Anybody Else,” that Anthony Mckee pulls his tongue out of his cheek. Sincerity is ample in nearly every track, but it’s here we find it at it’s most innocent. The song is musical cotton candy, and, like the best cotton candy, short-lived... quickly, darker clouds roll in with “Imaginationland,” and what starts off as the record’s bleakest point, rapidly transforms into its most triumphant. It’s brief, but it’s here the record meets hope; also serving as one of the musical highlights of the EP.
Best reserved for rainy days, rarely is an abrasive moment found within the five songs. With a scarcity of percussion, the backbeat can feel weak and, lack extravagance. But, grandiose gestures are for believers, and, belief has never been for thinkers. Uncertainty can be equally comforting. So, when Trusting Tyler lists the events of a night gone wrong in the bleary, “I-10”, and laments, inquiring, “What am I going to do?” We can feign happiness and croon, too.