Sunday, December 10th, 2006
Sunday Cleaning – Volume 59
|The Lemonheads / The Lemonheads (Vagrant)
Convention usually dictates that comeback albums are low-key, acoustic affairs while the artist feels out where they and the current music scene are, respective to one another. Evan Dando already did that with 2004’s Baby, I’m Bored – released under his own name – so when he decided to dust off the old Lemonheads name, it was with an ear to plugging in and turning up. Recruiting the rhythm section from
|Pacific UV / EP (WARM)
The 2003 self-titled debut from Athens, Georgia’s Pacific UV was like a mix tape from one shoegaze fan to another – hazy and laid back, it shamelessly but lovingly aped everything in the space-rock continuum but drew most heavily on early Spiritualized and Slowdive for inspiration. The result was a treat for fans of the genre but rather lacking in any sort of personality as far as the band went. Now after a very quiet two years, they’ve returned with a new EP in advance of a second full-length due out in 2007. EP shows that the band still worships at the altar of Jason Pierce but has now gotten into his rockier side. It starts out sounding like outtakes from Amazing Grace, all stomp and dried-out fuzz guitar but over the course of the four tracks they again return to the gauze factory atmosphere of their debut. No revelations here but a handy soundtrack for floating in space.
|Johan / THX JHN (Excelsior)
Discussion of Dutch bands tends to start with Golden Earring and end with Bettie Serveert. But lo, from the lowlands of Europe come Johan – that’s a “they”, not a “he” – and they come bearing pop. Their classic, jangly pop initially begs for comparisons to that coming from Stockholm or London or Los Angeles but when the finger of comparison finally comes to rest on the spinning globe, it does so on Bellingham, Washington – home of The Posies. Jacco de Greeuw’s voice is almost a dead ringer for Ken Stringfellow’s, and while the harmonies aren’t quite as lush and the guitarwork less solo-intensive, their melodic sensibilities are razor sharp and their music timeless in a way that’s never quite in fashion but also never out of style.