Released September 17, 2014
By Charlie Dims
When listening to Special Treats’ debut EP, two things immediately come to mind: first, the vocals sound remarkably like a younger Lou Reed; and, secondly, despite the first observation, Special Treats holds their own.
Of course, anyone who has a similar half-talking, half-singing vocal style made famous by unarguably one of the greatest and most influential figures in rock music will have a lot to live up to. It should be noted here that Special Treats is not a tribute or cover band to Lou Reed or The Velvet Underground. Despite the sound of the lead singer, the band itself hosts a full and expansive style that is equally laid-back and intense.
This Night introduces us to the first taste of such a style. While the instrumentation offers a casual backdrop, the lyrics tell a story of a pain that takes “a couple of years” to get over. The singer’s voice maintains a fairly hollowed sound, though, in lines like “I don’t see you in my dreams anymore," the words are soaked in bitterness, as well as a surprising triumph. It’s unexpected moments like this that give the song a solid edge to it.
Come Out East is probably the most sonically interesting track on the EP. Using effective contrast once again, the mood of the song could easily fit a James Bond movie set in a sprawling desert, while the tortured singer asks a lover to come back to him so that they can “take these feelings and send them away,” and remove him from the tortured way he lives. The unconvincing way that the last part of the chorus is sung (“oh baby, I’m okay”) only adds as evidence to his heavy discontent.
Piece of It, the final track, once again centers around love gone wrong. This time, however, the narrator has accepted that “between us, nothing is gained.” The song has a soft dreamlike quality to it, as if the narrator has been removed from reality and exists in his memories, however poisonous they may be. By placing this track last, the EP takes on a novelistic quality, with this being the final chapter. Consequently, Duncy Said becomes a larger story about love lost, lost further, and ultimately let go.