David Bazan Review

David—the artist formerly known as Pedro the Lion—Bazan just made me feel like shit: The song "Selling Advertising," from his new EP, Fewer Moving Parts, begins like this: "You’re so creative/ With your reviews/ Of what other people do/ How satisfying that must be/ For you." Yeah, that bites a little, but it pales in comparison with my disturbing realization of how applicable his examination of blindly patriotic rednecks, "Backwoods Nation"—which I first heard in 2002 on a Jade Tree compilation—still feels, four years after its original release. Never one to skirt the issues, Bazan’s new songs—which pretty much sound like Pedro plus keyboards—are as biting and beautiful as ever. And Parts contains two versions of each song, one played all simple acoustic style, the other recorded with full instrumentation. Pick either version and you’ll hear Bazan examine unsettling and interesting characters with exactly the wit and honestly you’ve come to expect from him, an artist whose work is important and hard-to-stomach for exactly the same reason—because he’s just so fuckin’ smart.

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