Agony Aunts “Big Cinnamon”

It’s been too long, but the Bay Area supergroup returns after 2010’s Greater Miranda, with even more harmony-laden psych-pop.  The band is basically The Corner Laughers; KC Bowman, Karla Kane , Khoi Huynh, and Charlie Crabtree. Add to this many guest stars including Gil Ray (The Loud Family), Anton Barbeau and Allen Clapp (The Orange Peels). So can all those cooks spoil this brew? Not likely.

Opening with the kaleidoscopic “Twenty-four Mergansers” it’s a lot like the Laughers with a bit more Magical Mystery Tour thrown in. Then it follows up seamlessly with “Family Drugs,” the lyrics repeating over with crisp harmonies on the “bottle it up” backing chorus. The psychedelic sheen on everything is comparable to The Pillbugs on the title track. And if you ever wondered what a modern day Mamas and Papas would sound like, listen to “Back To Back Bills.”

The second half is more rock oriented, those dual tracked guitars stand out on the perfect “We Got The Jekyll.”  Raspberries fans will flip for the intro on “Uranium My Love,” a riff heavy melody full of hooks about science. Its not predictable either, “You’re So Vague” is like a combo of Todd Rundgren and The Explorers Club. It ends with the mysterious story behind “Cool Fresh Nights” and Barbeau’s quirky country “Trouble Was Born.” Not trace of filler to be found, production is clean and sounds great through headphones, so its hard to not love this album. Multiple listens make it better and it makes my top ten for 2013 easily. Get it now!
power pop review score 9

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