“Why not have a piece of pizza?”
In an unexpected way, this question really gets at the crux of Dan Soto’s first EP and cassette tape, Yeah Sure. Released, all too fittingly, via Brooklyn’s King Pizza Records, the six-song collection is ostensibly glib and indifferent. But in between birthday celebrations and pizza worship, Soto’s impossibly catchy garage rock (aided by friends Greg Hanson and Seth Applebaum) actually wears a lot of anxiety on its sleeve.
Taking into account that this is a two-sided tape release, it becomes clear that Side A is the more truly carefree half of Yeah Sure—a sort of light primer before slightly heavier topics find their way into the mix. The first three songs are decidedly silly, starting with a track about a baby face that is notable mainly for its classic rock and roll aesthetic. It's an upbeat number with a bass line that catches your ears and a solid guitar solo.
The second track, “Birthday,” is a simple but addictive guitar-pop tune with rather straightforward lyrics (yes, about someone’s birthday and, circuitously, how they were conceived) and features a Roy Orbison-inspired lead guitar, while third track “Pizza” is, indeed, a bluesy homage to pizza. But when Soto, in his nasally warble, asks “Who even cares if you have another slice?” before launching into rather heartfelt repetitions of “It’s all right,” you start to wonder if pizza isn’t, in fact, the answer to all of our existential problems.
Soto’s tendency to overthink things is hinted at with the pizza track, but the trait really crystallizes on Side B of the EP, starting with “I Think You’re Right.” Here, Soto confesses, “I’ve been up all night / Sitting in the dark,” and says “I try always / To be there, to be here / Life is strange, life is weird.” Now, instead of indifference, we hear something more akin to resignation in his tone, and even the EP’s title begins to take on a slightly different color. The same goes for the following track, “I Know You Know,” which is a kind of rockabilly ballad infused with just a touch of sneering punk, betraying a darker edge to Soto’s persona. His words are woozy and his thoughts uneasy.
Though the EP’s two sides come off as pretty discrete, they manage to buoy one another. Even during his most flippant moments, Soto ends up coming off as sincere thanks to his vocal delivery and unassuming lyricism. From birthday wishes to self-effacement, he means every word. Yeah Sure's endearing rock and roll may seem like empty carbs at first, but its surprising candor only feels more rewarding with each extra helping. Why not have another slice?