I have a confession to make. Michael Slawter passed me by and now I feel a bit silly. My good friend Rob at dB's Repercussion recommended him a few years ago and I'd knew and liked The Saving Graces, but I'd never followed him on from there.
Well now I have and this is a great album. Futureman Records have got a hold of it and that's always a sign of quality. So the 2007 album is now extended to 15 songs and it's a cracking listen from start to finish.
There's lots of Jangle and the comparisons to the dB's are obvious. Maybe with Slawter hailing from Winston-Salem, a Mitch Easter influence is to be expected and there is. The Spongetones' Jamie Hoover, co-produces and plays on the album and that shows too.
The songs hit a riff and ram it home. This is great melodic pop, reminiscent at times of Glenn Tilbrook or Michael Carpenter. There's hints of REM at times and it doesn't rock out often, but when it does the songs are just as good. Particularly the likes of Ticker Tape Plan.
The Queen Of All She Sees is very Mike Viola and The Crashing Down is one of those story songs that Ron Sexsmith does so well until it bursts into a great jingly chorus. The Rest Of The Day even sounds like Summer Scotish Pop from the late Eighties.
The album probably feels more at home in the mellow pop of Too Dumb For You and Leave Her Alone. But there's plenty of variance here for all and I particularly love Count To 10 which sounds like it could be on an Ian McNabb album. This is a beautifully produced album that deserves a place in anyone's home.
You can listen to and buy the album here. It's a snip at seven dollars.