Record Label: S/R
Band Link: www.myspace.com/lifeguardnights
* COOZER PICK *
Stellar double album from the insanely prolific Vincent Brue. The overarching style on these two discs is off-kilter heartland rock, with a little heady psych-pop, all through a murky indie filter, kind of like if Bruce Springsteen came up just now through Brooklyn.
Just about all of the songs – even the driven, catchiest ones – have a moody charm, courtesy of prominent bass and Brue’s gravely voice. It gives them a consistent feel and clips the wings off of their poppiest songs. “My Chevrolet,” for instance, could be a soaring U2 tune (albeit with a lot of “fucks”), but LN’s omnipresent moodiness and homemade feel keeps it nicely grounded and gritty. Even a toe-tapper like “This Is A Demonstration” – a simple Muppets-like ditty with banjo and trumpet – avoids irony or goofiness.
The amount of great songwriting on this set is ultra impressive, especially given that this is probably the 15th album from LN this year, and I think “The Miss Factory” is supposed to be a collection of odds and ends. But it’s hard to imagine that any musician would consider a swirling indie tune like “Sorry,” the off-the-rails barnburner “Keep Trying,” or the uplifting gem “Circles” as not worthy of official release. Most bands enjoy full, successful careers without writing songs as good as these.
Bottom Line: This “Miss” album has a stunning number of indie hits.
Notable Tracks: “Melt Away,” “Frustrated,” “Andonandon,” “Sex in the Morning,” “My Chevrolet,” “Holy Now,” “This Is A Demonstration,” “Open Season,” “Sorry”