By Bob McMahon
By Allison Babka
By Kelsey McClure
By Carolina de Busto
By Ben Westhoff and Sarah Purkrabek
By Steve Brennan
By Joseph Hess
By Allsion Babka
Chattering guitar hooks, gargle-mouth vocal hooks, chanting countdown hooks -- the Sayers have hooks. The evidence is all over their excellent six-song EP (www.thesayers.org). Twenty minutes of pop pleasure pass by, and you're ready to start the disc over again.
Two distinctive songwriters share the spotlight. Bassist Christian Smith writes the more serious numbers, the ones with more room for stretching out in concert if the group feels like it. "The Moon in Sun City" takes a fresh approach to the modern alt-rock formula of alternating soft and loud parts, going from jazzy chords in the quiet bits to crunchy power-pop sounds in the noisy sections. Singer/guitarist Tony Franco writes the obvious radio hits, bubblegum confections that bounce from idea to idea before you figure out how much fun you're having. Imagine a merger of the Sweet's "Little Willie" with the Breeders' "Cannonball," and you're in the right ballpark for Franco's "5-4-3-2." The mind boggles, contemplating what might have happened if the Chinn-Chapman production team had gotten hold of it in their '70s heyday.
At present, the Sayers' recordings are decidedly lo-fi, though the songs and musicianship are strong enough to overcome the muddy sound. This is a very young band, with the potential to be one of the best in St. Louis.