Keen songwriting makes tales of woe listenable.
YOUNGSTOWN -- Ed Masley has relationship problems.
As singer/songwriter/guitarist for the Pittsburgh-based pop rock act The Breakup Society, this is a good thing, as evident with the band's 2004 debut disc "James at 35."
The 16-track therapy session details all of Masley's dating woes to alt pop music, which is every bit as quirky as it is engaging. Invariably, such modus operandi is perhaps a staple of rock music but Masley's keen songwriting and insightful lyrics make The Breakup Society's first effort an easy listen for anyone who has ever been romantically challenged.
"You get one, maybe two shots at love and we often don't show that the respect it deserves and we let ridiculous things come between us and the people that we love," Masley said calling from his hometown.
"And that once you've screwed up, you can't always get it back. This guy is left pretty alone at the end of the record. He's lamenting the fact that he was never really smooth with the girls. He finally got this one relationship where she accepted him for what he was and he blew it by letting ridiculous little things bother him."
What a concept
The thematic album follows common dating trials and tribulations with song titles such as "Never Wanted to be Your Disappointment" and "She Doesn't Know She's Not Suppose to Like Me Yet." Granted on the surface such a concept album may come across as being one dimensional or even novelty based, but Masley discounts such a notion.
"There is nothing on this that I would think is a novelty but there is some humor on it," Masley said. "I think humor is a sign of maturity. I see it as part of growing up, that you learn to laugh at the things in life that made you cry when you were a teenager. And I think that some people have it backwards and that they see humor as like joke-y, kids stuff. But most people you talk to as they mature in life, they tend to have developed a sense of humor about the things that sometimes break their heart."
Named as one of Alternative Press Magazine's "100 Bands You Need To Know" in 2005, The Breakup Society has gained the attention of critics, which Masley hopes will open the door for more ink regarding the band's next release "Nobody Likes a Winner," which the group plans to record soon.
In the meantime, the Steel City outfit is looking forward to playing Youngstown Friday at Cedars Lounge. The gig is somewhat special for Masley, formerly the vocalist for indie outfit the Frampton Brothers. Low Water, which features John Litera of defunct local band Boogie Man Smash, is also on the bill.
"There is going to be a certain mood of celebration among the bands because we're playing with our old friends we never see," Masley said. "I think it's going to be a good show. It's going to rock."