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Despite the sleeve depicting him as some kind of buffoonishly made up grandson of one of the New York Dolls, I fell very quickly in love with Mac DeMarco’s debut 12” (though long enough to be an album) ‘Rock and Roll Nightclub’, I must have played it about a thousand times, honestly, I am not exaggerating, a superb record.
His sound is kind of like the kind of slightly warped guitar bands I listened to in my youth. It’s lo-mid fi, slopped together guitar pop but with a bunch of superb tunes that stick in your craw. It’s Ariel Pink meets the Dwight Twilley band. There’s plenty of the ‘70s power pop vibes of the type of bands who worshipped at the alter of Big Star and the Beatles, in fact there’s plenty of the skewed pop maverick genius of Alex Chilton within the grooves.
Opener ‘Cooking up Something Good’ is spot on sooooo-perb. It dances along with a kind of funky guitar figure, seems to be going nowhere in an extremely pleasant Lou Reed-ish way when it hits a chorus that is just amazing and completely unexpected, his debut was full of moments like this and I’m pleased he still has the ability to surprise and excite. Throughout, the guitars are set on treble, the sound can be described as home fi, its very dry like he’s just plugged the whole lot straight into the mixing desk but it works a treat.
This album, like the EP. could be described as ‘samey’...he has one or two tricks which he repeats throughout but when you love those tricks what the heck eh? The lad has a real knack with a melody, there is shades of Scott Walker, Bruce Springsteen in here - he croons if you know what I’m saying but its never bland, always fresh and exciting sounding apparently he is still only 22 - if he carries on like this he’ll be a superstar by 25. Go Buy!!
10/10 Luke Knight Customer review, 12th November 2015
Mac Demarco's best album. After seeing Mac for the first time at the Roundhouse in September this year it only cemented my opinion that this is the best Mac album.
Ode to Viceroy is really one to look out for on this album, being a love song about cigarettes the airy opening whammied chords are followed by a hypnotic riff accompanied by Mac's ominously toned "Viceroyyyyy".
The album has all of Mac's great live songs "Cooking up something good"
"Freaking out the Neighbourhood" "Robson Girl" "My Kind of Woman" and the Mac Demarco anthem "Still Together".
Don't be fooled by Salad Days this is undoubtedly THE essential Mac album.
This album manages to sound fresh yet pulled from a time of solid albums.
It's really not often these days that a rock album or any other album has absolutely no filler tracks and I think that can definitely be said for 2.
9/10 Tom Moglu Customer review, 9th January 2014
Listening to this album I feel like a 12 year old kid one hot summer being allowed to hang out with older brother and his mates in the garage whilst they have fun twanging on vaguely Malian-sounding guitars, drinking beers and crooning fairly nonsensical lyrics. Relentless echo and floppy Levon Helm drums, everyone smoking cigarettes with unashamed joy. These are tight and catchy beautiful little songs but their true, lasting charm lies in Demarco and co just not giving a shit. Same guitar effect for the whole album? Who cares! Sounds like the drummer is playing a third-hand kit made of cardboard? So what! Have a beer and don't worry about a thing...
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- 2 by Mac DeMarco
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