Local artist’s piano-rock ventures deeper

Jeannine Snyder

With a strong, raspy voice reminiscent of Pearl Jam frontman, Eddie Vedder, Charles S. McVey explores several adult topics throughout his new EP, “Modern Living,” often going deeper than many mainstream artists dare.

Available for $5 at his shows – or $8 at cdbaby.com for those who cannot wait – this six-song disc flows seamlessly from one song to the next and boasts some suggestive album art from Topeka’s own Melissa Treolo.

Each song has a refreshing edginess to it, which help “Modern Living” stand out from the rock-saturated local band scene. Recorded in Lawrence with McVey’s friends Eric Kessinger (drums) and Max Pale (bass), the EP proves the piano has other applications than purely classical.

McVey rocks the piano to create his self-described “rock/alternative/new wave” sound and is surely not for the faint-at-heart, as the album’s photography suggests.

One of the more dance-worthy songs, “Sir” begins softly with piano and McVey’s scratchy voice cooing “… as you laid me down you’ll know I’ll be back for more / because I’m my daddy’s whore and I want to please you… .” A minute and a half into the song, the beat picks up and continues to the end, making for a rather enticing love song for those who require more than the typical slow sappiness.

Charles S. McVey’s next show is 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 13, at the Bottleneck in Lawrence, but for a taste of the new EP now – and a free download of “Sir” – check out his MySpace page, http://www.myspace.com/charlesmcvey.

It just might make you “feel like dancing in the rain like every old cliché.”