Tony Ferraro has spent the past few years firmly placing his thumbprint all over the North Texas music scene. From his days fronting indie-pop darlings Eaton Lake Tonics, to the role-swapping he has engaged in via various projects with Dentonites Daniel Markham and Ryan Thomas Becker, to his recent Satans of Soft Rock project, Ferraro’s output has been nothing short of Robert Pollardian.
The 10 tracks on Ferraro’s most recent release, A Parrot Buys a Hotel, are stuffed with the type of irreverent musings seen more often from an author’s collection of short stories as opposed to a typical rock ’n’ roll album. Parrot owes as much to the literary stylings of Junot Diaz as it does the songwriting of Mountain Goats frontman John Darnielle –– a comparison exemplified on the album’s sixth track, “The Judge.”
Ferraro is as gifted at turning a phrase as he is using tempo to dictate mood, and his bandmates on Parrot, Becker on guitar and keyboards, Dave Howard (Eaton Lake Tonics) on bass, and Justin Collins (Hares on the Mountain, Burntsienna Trio) on drums, follow his lead to a tee. “Go Go Supertoy” is a  good example of such pacing. The music ambles along at the clip of a tortoise while Ferraro wonders how a child’s toy can “go at such speeds.”
In addition to playing drums, Collins co-produced the album with Ferraro, as well as serving as the scribe for “I Don’t Relax,” an ode to the loneliness and confusion of missing someone you love.
“You said you still need me” Ferraro questions in his raspy, lazy drawl.
By the end of the track there is no choice but to wonder what it was that caused the distance between that narrator and his lost companion. — Jasun Lee