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   Friday, May 10, 2002  
Anyone missing the sort of retro-pop fabness served up so efficiently by Myracle Brah will likely find plenty to enjoy on Everyday and then some, new this month from Starbelly. Graduates of very much the same Academy of Pop Hooks as Andy Bopp (indeed, he produced the band's last album Lemon fresh and bass-player/singer/songwriter Dennis Schocket is a regular touring member of the Brah), classy jangle-pop with lashings of harmonies is their thing and it sounds as though they haven't lost the knack...

Catching up with a couple of hares set running earlier...
Maki is the 4-piece including guitarist/studio wiz Alan Weatherhead who's been associated with a few obscure reallyrather favourites (Champale's Simple days, I'm Not Sally's Jewels & fools) and recently toured as part of Sparklehorse. Lunch Records invoke Nick Drake and Wilco in their pitch for the album Tears on the blastshield, but then who doesn't get carried away once in while? What we have here is pretty straightforward guitar-soaked power-pop, the sort perhaps best listened to late in the evening, the critical faculties having been lowered a notch or three by a couple of glasses of red. Indeed, there's a sort of blasted feel throughout the 8 slow- to mid-tempo tracks. reallyrather was taken back to things like Spindizzy on the first Orange Humble Band album; Make you better is very Gigolo Aunts and Matt Shaker has a nice starbursty chorus. Throughout the whole chords come crashing like waves but with the tide going out not coming in...

Kevin Salem's 1994 album Soma City similarly carries no surprises stylistically but the quality of plenty of the tunes is a cut above. On the strength of various reviews his '01 release Ecstatic was flagged up here earlier and spotting Salem's debut at Secondspin, $3.99 seemed a risk-free investment. And so it has proved, the gnarled, comfortably familiar riffing slipping on like your old Levi's jacket. Actually this could be classed as archetypal Levi's jacket music. Gritty and melodic, the guitar, by turns chunky and splintered, hurling out chords in reassuringly predictable sequences. Some of it sounds like what might have resulted had, say, Joe Henry fronted the Smithereens. Tom Petty before he combed his hair. With only two or three of the twelve tracks attracting the 'Skip' button's attention, a veritable bargain. [Another copy's just dropped into Secondspin, $4.99 if you're quick!]
   posted by SMc at 11:26 AM |