RADAR: Big Scary

Lots of bands described as alternative/pop lean much more heavily on the latter than the former. No so with Melbourne duo Big Scary -- Tom Iansek and Jo Syme -- who find a way to flash a sharp, serrated edge when the mood is right just to keep things a little more dark and a lot more intereresting. Second album Not Art (June 28 Down Under, September 17 U.S. via Barsuk), produced by Iansek, amps up the experimental sounds hinted at on the duo's debut LP Vacation (nominee for Album of the Year on Aussie radio Triple J). Propelling the kick behind Iansek's vocals and piano and guitar lines is Syme's stark and stripped percussion -- a sound that takes the form of "Phil Collins", a "non-tribute" track of sorts that echoes Collins' rhythmic (think "In The Air Tonight") while a tremolo Johnny-Marr-styled shimmering guitar riff clears the air. Be sure to jump down to the latest track "Luck Now" (video, too), another preview of Not Art's vividly austere production and dramatic drum loops.

Big Scary - "Phil Collins" (from Not Art)

Big Scary - "Luck Now" (from Not Art)