If you haven’t been paying close attention, you might assume that Adam Schmitt disappeared from the face of the earth after his two early ’90s power pop records on Warner Brothers/Reprise. But Schmitt was actually just working behind the scenes as a producer and engineer for folks like Tommy Keene and Hum. Meanwhile, he continued to work on his own music in his home studio. Demolition is the result of eight years of on-and-off recording, and frankly, it sounds like it.
The opening “See Me Fall” is not exactly tricked out with modern production touches. The vocals are layered and beautiful, but the drums are oddly mixed and the guitars sound a bit dated. Still, good songs can always shine through even the weakest production, and this one’s a keeper. The lead guitar on “Brilliance In Failure,” on the other hand, sounds borrowed from a Boston record. “So here’s your answer/Here’s your truth/Your only failure/Was being you,” Schmitt sings.
He delves into a heavier, neo-metal pop sound on “Visited” and tackles crunchy new wave on “Let’s Make This Easy.” Schmitt overdoes the vocal and guitar histrionics on tracks like “Want Ad” and “Alone on a Crashing Plane.” He fares much better when he goes for more subtlety, as on “World As Enemy” and the piano-based “Timeless,” on which he yearns for “an old-fashioned love song.” But the best pure pop tune here is the set-concluding “Looking For Fate.” It may remind you of people like Matthew Sweet, who Schmitt was compared to way back in the early ’90s.
Parasol Records, 905 South Lynn St., Urbana, IL 61801; http://www.parasolrecords.com