On Do Things, Dent May makes moody, yet inspirational light pop rock. The opening track sets high standards for the aspirations of the band. “I don’t wanna be just another guy chasing that rent money,” May croons. It’s a sentiment that everyone who has to pay his or her own rent knows. Because paying rent sucks, and more than likely it makes you a little moody, and playing for the background to your day is a bevy of synthetic instruments that felt at home in the 70’s and now sort of provide an ironic cheeriness. Do Things is that occasionally annoying friend who tries to make you smile when your day is not going well at all, and goes worse with every second.
The harmonies, though mellow and depressing, are beautiful. The second track, “Fun,” seems like the theme song to Paul Giamatti’s character in Sideways – the friend who goes along with things because he doesn’t want his friends to hate him, even though he suspects they do anyway. The song offers the singer playing off himself, overshadowing the background synth, and occasional strum from an acoustic guitar, to show off how well his voice can hit the notes.
The album is jouncy and full of sunshine, a great collection of synth pop, with the biting nervousness and sadness of May’s lyrics. Pick any track on the album and you’ll get the full spectrum of post-breakup/rejection reaction. On “Best Friend” May playfully reminisces about the forbidden quality of falling in love with your best friend, but instead of facing the heartbreak in the typical fashion (tears, breaking things, telling your friends she wasn’t for you anyway and she’s ugly too) May opines, “You and me is never going to end/Because you’re my best friend, honey/Still my best friend.” The sentiment isn’t pretty and you might even want to hug May and say “Awww, honey,” but it makes for fine synthetic pop.
Pick up the album – it’s only a half-hour listen, and every song needs at least a once-over.