When local musician Devin McComas decides to do something, he doesn't mess around. It may take him a little while to get it done but only because he wants it done right. Total Electric Living (2017), the self-released debut LP by his band Preakedness (PREEKT-ness) is the proof in the synth pop pudding.
"I spent eight to 16 hours at a time in the studio," said McComas.
McComas, who also plays with local band Toy Zoo and cites The Simpsons and British New Wave musician Gary Numan as influences, said he liked the solitude of the studio, but enjoyed collaborating and working with other musicians more.
"I'm stoked to have my friends on stage with me," McComas said, referring to Preakedness members Brian Anglin (Jr. Rocket Scientist) and Nick Archibald (Andrew Sheppard Band), the latter of whom McComas said is "a great engineer."
So, with his talented friends, what for McComas "started out as a studio recording project" has become a bombastic blend of "synthesizers, electric pianos, drums, bass and noise generators" creating "fuzzy melodic basslines, pitched drums, falsetto harmonies, and eerie keys moving smoothly between cough syrup-y synth jams and bursts of unabashed noise."
Coupled with McComas' evocative lyrics, like, "Laughed so hard my teeth fell out/ Smiled dark to myself," ("Teeth Fell Out," Total Electric Living) Preakedness songs create an aural picture with more layers than a Jan van Eyck painting.
If this sounds too turbulent for your tastes or experimental for your ears, please do one thing: Listen to the TEL single "Pure Word" included below or "Teeth Fell Out" on Bandcamp. They are addictive, sublimely crafted tracks, both lavish and raw and redolent of the innovative sensibilities seen in the works of Beck or Radiohead.
If you agree, please know two things: We should be friends, and Preakedness is celebrating the release of Total Electric Living at Neurolux on Friday, March 10, with support from Sea's Apprentice and Sick Wish. You should go.