From the first notes of "Mental Cabaret" on the Polyphonic Spree's just-born EP, WAIT, it's clear the militia of happiness has darkened the corners. The legion's expected brightness has been dampened by gloomier keyboards and electronic elements that swirl around a choir/band that is obviously traversing a new emotional landscape. Perhaps the change comes from having worked with musical dark horse John Congleton on the band's upcoming album or maybe it comes from world discord, but head Spree'r Tim DeLaughter has added edge and fever to his already energetic, thoughtful and celebratory creations. The real drama of the Spree's highly anticipated return home, however, won't be derived solely from the new tunes but from how the mass of musicians chooses to mix old anthems with new affirmations. Let's just be thankful all the build-up won't be spoiled by Hasidic reggae "sensation" Matisyahu--the Spree limited those opening bills to West Coast dates.
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