Consider this my acceptance speech for bonehead of the year award. Let
me explain. I received The Contortionists new CD titled Get Sweet For You
quite a few months ago. Due to my sometimes (OK, always) anal state of
mind, I allowed it to become buried under the mountains of mail, magazines,
LP’s and CD’s that is my basement music room. So while looking for something
else I found the CD.
Well let me tell
you, this is one of the most enjoyable CD’s I’ve heard in quite some time.
The songs have the hip ness of Steely Dan, the pop sensibilities of Squeeze
and the smart sophistication of Paul Weller. The lush harmonies and the
melodic hooks make this a very sweet treat.
Rob Falgiano founded the Contortionists after his last group, Plaster Sandals,
disbanded. The core band on Get Sweet For You consists of Rob Falgiano
(lead vocals, guitar), Rob Lynch (drums, vocals), Tim Mroz (bass) and Guillermo
Izquierdo (guitars). Also helping out is a who’s, who’s of Buffalo musicians
including Cathy Carfagna, Eric Starr, Charlie Quill, Doug Moody, Tom Fenton,
Ken Peterson, and Nelson Starr among others. The esteemed Marc Hunt from
Ear Candy Audio recorded and engineered the project and co-produced it
with Falgiano and Lynch.
tracks run the gamut of influences as snippets of country, bossa nova,
power pop and more form some incredibly smart and sophisticated songs.
Love, loneliness and introspection are covered in Falgiano’s lyrics with
a wry sense of scene. His references to “mountains of snow”, “electric
trains” the club scene and the break up of Plaster Sandals, gives this
a definite Buffalo feel.
CD starts with the instantly catchy track “Girlfriend” which finds Falgiano
cleverly blending naivety and sincerity as he sings, “If I asked politely
do you think God would send me a girlfriend?”. “World A Little Cold” is
a perfect three-minute pop gem with outstanding drum lines and cymbal rides
from Lynch. He also adds vibraphone on this track. On this Falgiano looks
inward as he sings, for all of us maybe, “This is not what I had in mind,
Intended as a child, Am I all grown up?”. Another gem of a song is “Brilliant”;
with it’s runaway bass lines from Mroz and beautifully textured guitar
fills from Izquierado. “See and Read” is a scathing condemnation of today’s
media landscape of call in shows and the sometimes-slanted view of the
news that is presented to the public. “Nightfall” is a mellow country tinged
song with a Steam Donkey sound as Charlie Quill and Doug Moody from the
band lend a hand. Nine other tracks round out this perfect CD. I’ve been
listening to this for almost three months straight, at home, the car, work,
and I still find new and exciting things going on in each song. Accordions,
handclaps, and well placed back round vocals keep turning up on repeated
My apologies to Rob and
the band for not reviewing this sooner, this is such a great CD. More on
The Contortionists can be found at