This week I will be reviewing a few LPs from 2016 that I missed:
Erik Voeks “So The Wind Won’t Blow It All Away”
I knew Erik was actively making music this year, but I missed that he combined all his singles into this strong album. The first half is pure magic, with heavy fuzz guitar behind an infectious beat on the opener “GML2C” and the referential “She Loved Her Jangle Pop” name dropping Chris Bell (Big Star) and Bobby Sutliff (The Windbreakers) all to a jangling melody. “Being In Love With You” is one of best pop love songs I heard this year, and recalls Voeks early 90’s work.
“Your Condition” and “She Was Doomed” are also gems, and at his best Voeks is like an American version of Michael Carpenter. He does offer up some moody ballads, like “Reasons” and “Blue Water” but they don’t slow down things too much. Overall a great collection of work and highly recommended.
Mike Adams and his Honest Weight “Casino Drone”
Indiana-based musician Mike Adams amazes as he plays all the instruments, evoking 90’s-era indie rock with tons of texture on the opening tracks “Bronze Worlds” and “Hobart, Chuck Manson, and Jim.” The songs are about struggling in a small town, done with careful arrangements and solid hooks. On “Stainless Still” it slowly grooves its way to a dream-like chorus of “I’m fine” across bare guitar rhythms.
“Underneath The Door” is almost a Velvets-like moody ballad, but the real power pop comes forth on the brilliant “Diem Be” with its catchy heavy riffs and harmony. Its definitely the album’s high point, but the other songs are certainly growers, “Smart Marks” is a great example, with its catchy bass line. The mood and sound also bring to mind, Mark Oliver Everett (The Eels) as the finale “Ideas Man” is a long droning mix of ambient noise, until the guitars hit and the magic happens. Highly Recommended.