Cleverness can turn unctuous at any given moment, which makes Greg "Soapy Argyle" Hill's decision to build a band on that quality seem dangerous, indeed. Somehow, though, Six Months to Live, Hill's latest project, maintains its balance throughout this entertaining five-song preview of a long-player expected next year.
"Eiffel Tower Man" is a veritable charm offensive, led by a smile-inducing melody, cheeky background vocals and a fulsome trumpet solo. Elsewhere, "I'm So Very Blue" brightens up melancholia, while "Henry Kissinger" concerns a dog saddled with the unfortunate name in the tune's title. No wonder he never comes when he's called.
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Because Now is too brief (less than seventeen minutes) to wear out its welcome, there's no telling if Hill and pals can keep cutesiness at arm's length for an entire album. But for the span of this teaser, Six Months to Live, which visits the Larimer Lounge on Saturday, November 4, along with the Nancy Drews and Vonnegut, stays on the right side of clever.