Cotton Mather “The Death of Cool”
Cotton Mather’s Austin-based main man, Robert Harrison is back in a big way, converting his vision of the “I Ching” into a musical box set and The Death of Cool is his first volume in this highly anticipated release. Opening with “The Book of Too Late Changes” proves Harrison hasn’t lost a step in 15 years, with its crashing drums and sharp guitar riffs worthy of classic Who or The Raspberries. The tempo shifts with the somber country ballad “The Middle of Nowhere,” but the tone adjusts with the bouncy “Candy Lilac” full of irresistible musical touches and its sparse jangling rhythm.
One thing to note is that Harrison doesn’t stay with a certain style for long, but keeps the melodic content high for each tune. The jazz horns make the Lennonesque “Life of A Liar” erratic but very interesting. The impressive chamber pop of “The Land of Flowers” is a real gem with its gentle backing harmonies and “Waters Raging” is another highlight sounding a bit like Squeeze with its strong horns and psyche-pop flourishes. This is essential listening for power pop fans, and deserves repeat listens and stands right behind Kontiki, I look forward to the next chapter of Cotton Mather. Highly Recommended.
Lazy Lies “Lazy Lies”
Thanks to Ray (Kool Kat) for this find. The Lazy Lies are a band from Barcelona, Spain with a sound straight out of the British Invasion circa 1965. The main vocalists are the duo of Montse Bernad and Roger Gascon and the opener “(Things Will Eventually) Backfire” is classic Beatlesque fun with a catchy Rickenbacker melody and clean harmonies. “Who’s That Sally” allows the duet to sing about a Beatle paramour who had songs written for her.
Another standout is the plinking piano of “Beautiful Morning,” a fresh, sunny chorus designed to put you in a good mood and “Feel The City Alive” is like finding a lost Monkees tune. When Montse sings alone her vocals are reminiscent of Dusty Springfield, as heard on “The Great Desire.” I feel the limitations of the period style hold this band back a bit. Still, if you are looking for a Fab Four fix, this will scratch your itch nicely.