Music Reviews

The Thorns

The Thorns

Aware / Columbia

Words fail me.

Evidently, this is a problem I share with Matthew Sweet, Shawn Mullins and Pete Droge, AKA The Thorns. For on the supergroup’s debut release, they have created twelve songs that say nothing at all. The thirteenth, a cover of the Jayhawks’ “Blue,” is a great song, and one the guys should have studied a bit more closely. Instead, we get an overly sweet homage to Southern California folk flab. These guys aim, seemingly, at recreating the classic Crosby, Stills and Nash sound. Notice I left out the “Young” of that grouping. So did The Thorns. This is toothless, banal music that is so sweet it’s like eating an extra helping of cotton candy. Musically, it veers far too close to America or Bread.

You would think for all the firepower assembled here, that the end result would be at worst only great. Jim Keltner, drummer numero uno, Greg Leisz on everything stringed, Springsteen’s Roy Bittan on keys, strings arranged by the legendary Paul Buckmaster, produced by Brendan O’Brien for heaven/s sake. But no, this record is too similar-sounding, too predictable to believe. Instead of combining the best aspects of the trio – Sweet’s pop sense, Mullins folk charm and the grit of Pete Droge – they instead join forces, all sing at the same time (in seemingly the same voice and range) and the end result is a pleasant-sounding waste of time.

Really, if you think this review sounds harsh, listen to the record. You’ll curse me for understatement. Guys, don’t give up your day gig.

The Thorns: http://www.thethorns.com/


Recently on Ink 19...

The Tale of King Crab

The Tale of King Crab

Screen Reviews

The winner of the FIPRESCI Prize at the 2021 Viennale, The Tale of King Crab has documentarians Alessio Rigo de Righi and Matteo Zoppis creating their first hybrid-fiction feature, which expands on the provocative mythologies birthed in the town of Vejano, Italy. Generoso and Lily review this immersive and imaginative film.

New Music Now 008: doubleVee

New Music Now 008: doubleVee

Features

Join Ink 19 with Barb and Allan Vest for new music from Sydney, Australia band Bloods, Prey composer Sarah Schachner, and doubleVee’s own latest release, Treat Her Strangely. What was your first cassette tape, hmm?

Hold Me Tight

Hold Me Tight

Screen Reviews

Lily and Generoso review Hold Me Tight, the sixth feature directed by renowned actor Mathieu Amalric. Centered around a brilliant performance from Vicky Krieps (Phantom Thread, Bergman Island), Hold Me Tight is an unpredictable and remarkable psychological drama.