steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

Dan Bryk

"Discount Store" CDEP

Urban Myth / Firefly Music

Genre: singer / songwriter, indie pop

June 2008

I've long considered Dan Bryk's Lovers Leap a wonderful geeky pop album, replete with sad love lyrics and its fair share of nerd in-jokes (Mark Turmell, anyone?). So imagine my joy in unearthing Bryk's new EP, Discount Store, from the Indieville mailbag. And hey, not much has changed since Lover's Leap. Sure, everything's a little tighter, but this is basically the same formula - Bryk's deceivingly tuneful vocals, his cheesy yet effective keyboards, and of course a wide array of friends helping out with drums, bass, guitars, and the whole deal.

And there's no side-stepping it, Dan Bryk is a marvelous pop songwriter. Curiously, I find "Put That Boy Away," not the title-track, to be the most compelling song on this EP - its playful verse and breakout chorus make it the record's most accessible moment. Coming in a close second is the loose and melancholic "I Miss You," which continues Bryk's confessional vibe established on Lover's Leap. Meanwhile, the main event here, "Discount Store," is a fun and zesty singalong with a cute premise, but do we really need two versions? I mean, the "long version" is less than a minute longer than the original. Despite this, as well as a throwaway 60s-style garage-pop bonus track in "Cherry Berry," the Discount Store EP is an above average pop record from a hard-working and hideously under-recognized musician. Here's hoping the next Dan Bryk album is a smash hit.

dan bryk's myspace


youuuuuuuutube!: she doesn't mean a thing to me tonight (previous album)

Fun Fact: Dan Bryk's Lover's Leap received accolades from notorious critic Robert Christgau, who put it on his best-of-2000 list.

Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 6 tracks + 1 hidden, 27:12, distributed by the label, released 2007]