Worms is the new Wolves/Wolf. We have Hookworms, Flatworms and now Cut Worms a Midwest based chap who has escaped his family's love of baseball to produce basement 4 track recordings that are influenced by harmony drenched songsters the Everly Brothers and David Lynch's twilit eerieness.
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This music simultaneously sounds like driving your car down a dusty road while also sailing a boat through a breezy wind. Unbelievably nice from the moment “How It Can Be” jangles its guitars at you -- as if offering you a burger from the BBQ and beer from the fridge -- it actually amazes me that the press release is calling frontman Max Clarke out for not being as into baseball as the rest of his family. This is extremely baseball. This is surely the baseball of music, for you can put it on and it will be there for you while your mind switches blissfully to its off setting.
With slight melodies, a super old-school psych vibe and a bold enough production to keep it on your periphery, ‘Hollow Ground’ is a slice of sunshine pop. “Coward’s Confidence” has a bari sax keeping a doo-wop rhythm as xylophone sounds twinkle about like you’re at the funfair; at the fore, Clarke’s vocal is like something you’d hear on Sound of the ‘60s, albeit shone through with the loudness and production value of a blockbuster trailer. The Everly Brothers’ get a press release nod and rightly so: this is chirpy, twanging, ever-smiling rock music with emotive, often heartbroken lyrics that have literally zero connection to the absolutely gleeful music arranged for them. I mean, “It Won’t Be Too Long” gives Hank Williams a run for his money when it comes to saying you’re sad with a tune that does the complete opposite.
It’s an unbelievably fun record, and bits of it are real nice too: “Like Going Down Sideways” has gorgeous, sprightly acoustic strums, accented by rollicking riffs on an electric that recall the thrown-out brilliance of Angel Olsen. Clarke has pitched these songs perfectly at what they want to be and for who; every hook and harmony rings true to a dude very much in love with the era he probably should’ve been alive to make music in. An erudite debut of old-time bubblegum pop.
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- Hollow Ground by Cut Worms
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