2007 was a pretty good year for Fred Thomas. His full-time pop outfit Saturday Looks Good to Me released Fill Up the Room, a collection of songs that pushed his songwriting much farther left-field than he’d previously explored. It is also the best album of their seven-year run. Now under his own name, Fred has crafted Flood, a rougher and more eclectic batch of songs and sounds. The album is a natural extension of Room in its predilection to delve into extensive free-form, drum-heavy noise jams; but this time the songs are folkier and shot with dub-echo treatments. Tracks like “There Was a Flood” are urgent and chaotic but diffused through the soft focus of reverb and delay as if the master tapes didn’t quite make it out of the studio unscathed. Elsewhere on “Flood”, “Snow Bight”, and “Ocean Of”, Thomas sows close to Tara Jane O’Neil’s avant folk where the take captured is most likely the first or second attempt and played with an intensity and newness that only comes with such a writing-to-recording turnaround time. Thomas is past the point in his career where fine-tuning his work is of great importance, and what he comes up with on the fly is messy, charming, and sometimes incredibly beautiful.
Magic Marker Records: www.magicmarkerrecords.com