The Optic Nerve - Penelope Tuesday/Here to Stay - Singles - Reviews - Soundblab

The Optic Nerve - Penelope Tuesday/Here to Stay

by Jeff Penczak Rating:10 Release Date:2015-09-15

Thirty years ago, New York’s Optic Nerve seemed poised for superstardom with their jangly Byrds/Beatles garage pop ready to overwhelm the garage revival scene springing up around them. Sadly, only two 45s emerged before they sunsetted, rising again through posthumous demos albums about 20 years ago. But even they consisted of 10-year-old material.

Such is the case here, as mainstays Bobby Belfiore and Tony Matura reunited in 2005 to record an album’s worth of new material. Luck once again rose up and stuck a middle finger in their eye, however, and those recordings never saw the light of day. Luckily, State have stepped in to rescue the tracks that make up this marvelous single. ‘Penelope Tuesday’ sounds like The Monkees never broke up, but there’s a gorgeous Rubbles chime emanating from Matura’s guitar that proves he still loves Rubber Soul/Revolver-era Beatles. Harmonies aplenty, a bouncy beat, and a hook that’ll stick around for weeks highlight this golden charmer.

     On the flip, I hear a Byrdsian jangle that starts out, if my ears aren’t deceiving me, with that melody from the Albanian folk song Jane Fonda sings in Barefoot In The Park – all together now: “Shama shama el mal kemama”! But then glistening harmonies a la ‘Draft Morning’ as covered by The Church trickle out of your speakers and you’re dying to hear the rest of the album. Whaddya say, State? How about the rest. Please! This is the best single of 2015, even if it is happenings ten years time ago.

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