The Air Salesman
Sounding a bit like R.E.M. with a dollop of Talking Heads, and a heavy smattering the milder side of 60’s psychadelica, Atlanta’s The Selmanaires have weaseled their way into my eardrums on this unforgivably warm Florida “winter.”
The Air Salesman, an anagram of the band’s name, is the second disc from this southern quartet and it’s success is in its simplicity. Remember when it was enough to have a well put-together pop song, sung with a pleasant voice, with just enough of a quirky side to make it stand out from the rest of the crappy pop out there? There are no bells and whistles here; The Selmanaires make the music of their ancestors–the popcentric bands that came before. You can hear The Kinks, and they cite Smokey Robinson and Kraftwerk as influences (you can hear a bit of that as well). What you hear is a group of guys who seem to live and breath music.
For the record, I hear a whole lot of Summerbirds in the Cellar (on “Nite Beat” esspecially) who–though from Orlando in origin–spent a lot of time in neighboring Athens, GA. Is there a mild connection between the two? Who can say? They have toured with The Black Lips though, so that should give you a further indication of the more psychedelic side of this band’s sound.
As for this album, the key songs are: “Reason and Change,” “Just To Get Yr Love,” and “Verdigris Intrigue.” The odd one out, which comes off beautifully nonetheless, is “Long Road”–a Zeppelin ballad gone down a Nick Drake road.