Wednesday, March 19, 2008
It’s been a good week for Beard Rock (you know, music made by men who like their whisky strong, their guitars sweetly melodic and gently countrified, and their shirts of a coarse plaid, worn open-necked; beards are optional, but pretty much the norm).
Grand Archives have in their debut album, The Grand Archives, delivered the perfect follow-up to Wilco’s Summerteeth (which was nice of them to do, seeing as it’s been nine years and Wilco still haven’t come close to that magic). This gem of a record goes from the Neil Young raggedy rock of Swan Matches to the careworn, backwoods folk of A Setting Sun that Teenage Fanclub mastered on Grand Prix, to the dolorous chiming of the funereal Index Moon that recalls the best of Michael Nesmith (and his best, I’m sure you know, is classic).
The whistling on Miniature Birds (don’t you just love these titles?) reveals the simple, irresistible pop impulse of Grand Archives; even better, Louis Reil is a dead ringer for Joe Pernice’s very best output (I’m talking about the Overcome By Happiness album and Clear Spot in particular).
The See See add the psych folk of their debut single, Up The Hill, to the Beard Rock card, but it’s the b-side, Citadel Shuffle, that really scores. Remembering The Byrds in 68, the aching lament and passionate urgency of REM in 83 and any number of psychedelic nuggets from hazily stoned nights, Citadel Shuffle marks The See See out as ones to watch.
Posted by Fire Escape at 2:48 pm