What Perfect Sounds Like
MATT MCCLUER & KATHRYN JENSEN
18-TRACK FULL-LENGTH CD
So this is what it's come to: stamp "Matt Adams" anywhere on your CD, and it's a guarantee the music contained therein is of a quality of the highest order. But it also helps if you're in the Part the Clouds/Blank Tapes revolving collective, of which Matts Adams and McCluer most certainly are. The multitasking Adams is everywhere here—piano, drums, mandolin, guitar, the frequent kneeslap—plus he co-produced (well, more like "co-recorded") the thing. But this is primarily a duo project, with recently San Francisco-ized Kathryn Jensen splitting half the disc's songs with the still-in-OC McCluer. Jensen's a real find, with a sweet caress of a voice that sounds like something from another era, like what you'd hear billowing out of a tinny old Victrola whilst awaiting your beau in the parlor room of a house in 1921. The way she warbles a tune is beautiful and mesmerizing, a soft creation you want to crawl inside and dream the day away with. McCluer's 10 songs are terrific for a mess of entirely different reasons, particularly in the way they sound like they're recently unearthed nuggets from obscure '60s rock & roll bands, especially "Pirate Ship" and "Moody Roommate Man" (and yeah, that last title has lyrics that are as funny as you think they are), heavy with jingle-jangly guitars and distant, echoey vocals—the background hiss of slowly drifting recording tape only adds to the music's allure. Then there's the title cut, a perfect two minutes of screamy, buzzy psychedelia that would have launched a thousand lesser bands if only McCluer had recorded it back in 1965—it's his own damn fault for being born too late. Given geography, McCluer and Jensen probably won't be playing 'round here any time soon, but be like us—watch for a gig, then do whatever it takes to be there.
OCandLongBeachbandsandmusicians!MailyourCDsandtapes(alongwithyourvitalcontactinfo,plusanyimpendingperformancedates)forpossiblereviewto:LocalsOnly,OC Weekly, 1666N.MainSt.,Ste.500,SantaAna,CA92701-7417.
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