Wise and Foolish BUilders

    Sleight of Hand

    Rex - May 18, 2004

    Rex Records’ new promotional seven-inch two-songer showcases a swell Philadelphia-based talent. The Wise and Foolish Builders is a five-piece pop outfit, toting influences across all musical spheres. Side A of this gem is strikingly arranged chamber pop, based on holiday-esque piano and percussion that wastes not a minute of the track. Singer Ben Smith croons along pleasant autumn day harmonies in “Sleight of Hand,” and just as the song breaks into a dreamy stuttering organ soundscape, he offers to the subject that there’s comfort “somewhere in your snowglobe toy.” Side B carries with it the kind of prom date anticipation that is obviously tense for a bit but rolls into a glorious climax. “It’s Only Monday” is characterized by delayed fuzzy guitar and Smith’s unsettling piano movements that generate a huge chorus, completely different from Side One’s tame beauty. Good things to come from this troupe.


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