Release Date: Sep 23, 2008
Record label: Hardly Art
Genre(s): Indie, Rock, Pop
The Pica Beats are the brainchild of frontman/songwriter/almost-everything-else Ryan Barrett and drummer Colin English. Beating Back the Claws of the Cold is a really interesting album that has some triumphant moments, but almost as many pedestrian ones. Barrett plays guitar and various synths, but also uses sitar and bin (better known as the instrument snake-charmers play).
There’s no denying that Ryan Barrett’s done his homework. Pica Beats, his solo project turned full band, clearly knows the pop repertoire necessary to earn the title of eclectic; the songs on Beating Back the Claws of the Cold contain traces of everything from the baroque and psychedelic tendencies of the ‘70s to the radio-friendly hooks of ‘90s alt-rock. Barrett’s attempt at a historical survey of popular music is problematic, though, because it lacks any real direction.