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- Best of Boiler Room Classics by Mike Adams At His Honest Weight
7/10 Mike Staff review, 16 May 2014"What if Todd Rundgren produced a Cass McCombs record?", ponders the press release to 'Best of Boiler Room Classics', "Find out !!!" Well I simply don't have the funds to find out something like that, so instead I'm doing the next best thing and listening to the new album from Mike Adams at his Honest Weight, about which the office post-it distributor has weighed in simply with "Sounds good, US power pop". As you would expect then, this is quite polished and melodic power pop in the vein of Tom Petty or Big Star - thoughtful and likeable but a bit wishy-washy and pedestrian in places. Even at its worst it's listenable in a warmly plodding way but my attention keeps wandering. The production is really nice, some of the more downbeat songs have a bit of an ethereal touch that invites comparisons to the Cocteau Twins and Talk Talk and latter-period Jim White. Graceful but dense arrangements with interesting sonic touches - take the glimmering guitar drones and romantic strings of 'Count On It', for example, cleverly played off against a ripping-paper distorted drum loop in the song's final section before a short interlude of what sounds like backwards analogue synths...and then we're back in the Big Star territory which dominates the majority of the record. Another highlight turns up late on with the weirdly distorted vocal harmonies, theremin and subtle Elvis Costello riffing of 'The Fingers You Know' (in fact the closing three songs are all very good). Much like I imagine a Todd Rundgren-produced Cass McCombs record would be, it's alright but a bit patchy, some truly lovely moments mixed in with some fairly bland and forgettable guitar pop. There's enough interesting stuff happening here to be worthy of investigation.
10/10 Paul Customer review, 26th May 2014
I personally really like this album. The melodies are catchy and inviting, and the songs provide a certain depth that can be revealed through repeat listens. I've listened to this record a few times over now, and can say that there are neat little parts that I didn't realize were there the first time around, both vocally and sonically. There is a timeless air about the record, even with touchstones that are direct and indirect (see I'm Worried for the Cure reference for example). The timeless nature also seems to come from the fact that although I am currently listening to this album repeatedly, I have a feeling that I will continue to return to these sets of songs for years to come.
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