Local veterans from indie-pop bands Go Metric USA, Wurlitzer Prize and Lo-Fi Chorus fill the cast of Pegasus Now, but 25-year-old lead singer Neu LeBlanc stands front and center, only recently hopping onto local stages after working on solo home recordings for years. The members' varying levels of experience come to the surface on their debut EP, six songs of audio delight that still sound like a band finding itself. With a variety of vinyl crate divers who split their influences between Bowie, Cheap Trick and Stone Roses, this sextet could take a Michelle Branch songwriting session and turn it into gold. To wit, "Mr. Greycoat" is a driving rush of guitar rock sophistication, a smoky haze of piano, dual guitar lines and lap steel awash in synthesizer, propelled by tasteful, thunderous tom drums and LeBlanc's back-and-forth jumps between soft singing and potent howling. Surprisingly, the complicated sonic stew--particularly the ending, when a synth-affected lead guitar line tops the mix and sends the song into disarray--translates well from stage to stereo.
But the live band has lessons to learn on the recorded format, as some of the songs wash by with nary a hook, letting interesting melodies swim together without achieving cohesive, memorable catchiness. "The Tree With No Leaves Made No Shade" has this very problem, racing its speedy, Squeeze-esque verses into an aimless chorus and the uninspiring repetition of LeBlanc's plea, "I lost your silhouette." But closer "Dance on Pure Glass" redeems the problems; the slowed-down ode to '70s organ-driven funk downs the best of Shuggie Otis with a chaser of Yo La Tengo to hint at great things to come. LeBlanc even sums up his band's out-of-this-world potential in his lover's plea: "Baby, I can see Mars, but I don't know where we are."