Ted Leo and the Pharmacists - Tell Balgeary, Balgury Is Dead (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Ted Leo and the Pharmacists

Tell Balgeary, Balgury Is Dead (2003)


The motherfucking man, Ted Leo, returns to the 'Org with a new 9-song EP entitled Tell Balgeary, Balgury Is Dead, one of the more overlooked tracks off Leo's last full-length, Hearts Of Oak. It's the only of the 9 tracks to have been previously released, as well as the only track to have a full band.

The rest of the EP, while performed solo, still keeps up the rock, as it were. A solo version of Hearts Of Oak standout "The High Party" is also a standout on this EP, as well. The other 6 songs [and 1 interlude] are split between new material and covers, the strongest of which coming at the end of the CD. "Six Months In A Leaky Boat" show that Leo's pipes are back to normal after his vocal chords scare earlier this year, and "Loyal To My Sorrowful Country" is just a nice way to round out the disc, allowing Leo to voice his political discontent via someone else's words.

The rest of the EP, while entertaining to listen to, doesn't have as much snap as Leo's past 2 full-lengths have. I chalk up a good chunk of that to the exclusion of the Pharmacists. Seeing Ted live solo has never been an exciting experience for me, but with full band, the man really opens up and lets loose. A lot of these songs sound more like demos for a full band to flesh out than complete songs, and that's where the main problem lies.

Still, Ted Leo is one of the more potent and consistent songwriters in indie music currently, and this, while not his best work, is still miles ahead of most.

The Sword In The Stone