At Sixes and Sevens
Wherever Lou Barlow’s hiding himself these days, it can’t be far enough to escape monsters like this record from his Sebadoh bandmate Loewenstein. It’s got elements of punk, pop, new wave, and blues, but what it is is Rock Music, and it’s tighter than George Washington’s wig and catchier than Torii Hunter at the centerfield fence and tougher than “Tougher Than Leather.”
From the rousing opener “Codes” to the psych-pop closer “Transform,” which has one of the greatest opening couplets in modern history: “Well I dropped out of high school / One sunny afternoon / ‘Are you sure you wanna do this?’ / Well I do!”, Loewenstein just goes balls-out in a way that hardly anyone is willing to do anymore. Maybe he’s being ironic with neo-Scorpions-isms like the instrumental “H/M” (I’m pretty sure that stands for Heavy Metal), but I doubt it. Maybe he doesn’t want to sound like Thin Lizzy’s Phil Lynott on “NYC III,” but he does. And I love it.
The only problem I can see here is the too-close resemblance to the latest Love As Laughter album – damned if JL doesn’t just channel Sam Jayne on “Angles” and “More Drugs.” But that’s a quibble, and it cannot possibly be a deal-breaker to sound like Sam Jayne. So rock on, dude, and don’t look back.
Sub Pop Records: http://www.subpop.com