Sunday, September 17th, 2006
Sunday Cleaning – Volume 49
|Jule Brown / Smoke And Mirrors (Enabler)
The best way to get my attention with a CD is to put a big sticker on it that says “produced by Dean Wareham” Best way to get me to listen to it immediately is to have a “Dean Wareham – rhythm and lead guitar” credit on the back cover. Canny. Jule Brown is the alter-ego of Mark Holland who made a name for himself as drummer in ’90s Chapel Hill act Jennyanykind and his latest release is a healthy dose of roots/Americana with vocals that sound a lot like Mark Knopfler crossed with Tom Petty (and that will surely send some people running for the exits). The songwriting is solid if unspectacular and a little too genrefied. But Wareham’s distinctive guitar work does indeed grace a lot of this album and while it can sound a bit odd stylistically, it works and makes the record that much interesting. Luna should have used more pedal steel. Smoke And Mirrors comes out September 19.
|The Big Sleep / Son Of The Tiger (French Kiss)
It’s been a while since I listened to any instrumental music that couldn’t be easily slotted into the post-rock category, but New York’s The Big Sleep have no time to waste in building to the crescendo. They start off running and don’t let up for the duration of the record – even the slower numbers crackle with kinetic energy looking to bust out. Okay, there are some vocal tracks on Son Of The Tiger but while they offer a welcome bit of variety to the record, it’s the instrumentals that really carry this album. Thunderous yet giddy, trippy yet ultra-focused and above all, very melodic. Very nice stuff. No Toronto dates on the calendar but they will be at Pop Montreal playing with Islands at Saints on October 6th. The album is in stores Tuesday.
|Bound Stems / Appreciation Night (Flameshovel)
I think I’ve actually become allergic to Isaac Brock, or more specifically, anyone who sings like Isaac Brock. And sadly for Chicago’s Bound Stems, guitarist and vocalist Bobby Gallivan fits the bill. I was able to get past it for their debut EP The Logic of Building the Body Plan but over the course of a full-length, well that’s when I reach for my Reactine. But personal prejudices aside, Bound Stems have crafted a densely upbeat slab of prog-pop that stands as an impressive realization of the ambitions evident on Body Plan. I just can’t listen to it. Appreciation Night is out Tuesday.