Band: Bryan Scary & The Shredding Tears

CD Title: “Flight of the Knife”

Band Website:

Label: Black and Green Records

Label Website:

Release Date: 2008


Every so often you get turned on to a completely unknown band by friends that just WOW you…that happened recently, although it took me a long time to actually investigate the band. My friend Mike said you gotta check out Bryan Scary and The Shredding Tears…I said OK so he sent me a link…and when I finally got around to checking them out I was blown away. The CD entitled Flight of the Knife is a masterpiece of prog influenced art rock. This quintet hails out of Brooklyn and consists of Bryan Scary (vocals, keyboards), Mike Acreman (keyboards, vocals), Brian Bauer (drums), Graham Norwood (guitar, vocals) and David Ostrem (bass). In addition they have Liz Hanley providing violin on one track and Dan Scofield providing saxophone on another. With three individuals on vocals you would be correct in guessing that they play an important part in their music, in fact the vocal’s are downright delightful throughout. 


Imagine if you will…the proggy side of Klaatu from their first two albums, some vocal arrangements from early Queen and some instrumental quirkiness from Crack the Sky…mix that all together with just a dash of early Electric Light Orchestra, and you’ll have a pretty good idea of the music on Flight of the Knife. To my ears the overriding sound is that of Klaatu at their best, a band that have always been one of my favorites, so for me that puts Bryan Scary and The Shredding Tears in great company. There are 12 tracks most of which are in the four to five minute range. Nothing is overly long but each track is like a mini-symphony, loaded with twists and turns and in some cases loads of complex vocal or instrumental arrangements. There is something intriguing around every corner as a song will go from slow to fast to turn on a dime and become symphonic, grand or majestic and still not lose its pop sensibility. There’s even a little discord from time to time thrown into these compositions. The overriding goal as they maneuver through the piece is to never lose sight of a solid melody. On top of that these guys can really play and for compositions as complex as these they’re really tight. Then after its all said and done, it sounds like they’re having a blast!


Flight of the Knife is one of those treasures that comes along once in a while that just makes me smile when I listen to it. The tunes are upbeat, bright, tuneful and yet each one contains ample complexity to hold your interest over repeated listens. If you enjoy the music of the bands mentioned earlier, especially Klaatu you’ll certainly want to check out Bryan Scary and The Shredding Tears. From out of the blue this has become one of my favorites for 2008. Highly recommended.