Friday, October 22, 2010

CD of the Day, 10/22/10: Scott's Garage-Soul Magnet

One of my favorite discoveries of 2008 was Scott's Garage and their self-titled debut album which placed a very high #13 on my year-end list. Led by Scott Baird and Gary Hankins, the Garage has become one of the leading lights in Southern-styled power pop a la Mitch Easter, Let's Active and early R.E.M., and their brand-new followup Soul Magnet follows nicely from the debut and adds a touch of humor and (yes) soul to the mix.

Things kick off with the bright power pop of the title track, featuring some nice guitar work from Hankins (who also contributes lead vocals), and sounding like a Southern-styled Smithereens or Goldbergs. "The Girl With the Yippy Dog" brings a bit of Terry Anderson-styled humor to the mix, as our protagonist loves the girl but hates the dog ("I wish she had a Labrador", he laments). "December Stars" is a melodic gem, and the cheekiness continues with "You Were Such a Tool (I Remember High School)", a jangly power pop number that says what we'd all want to say to that certain person we unfortunately meet up again at a reunion (or these days on Facebook). "Kaledioscope" lets you know you've got a southern rock band on your hands, with a bit of a swamp boogie sound, and the midtempo "Wasting Time" has all the power ballad trappings. Speaking of Facebook, "Add Me as Your Friend"'s title speaks for itself, as Hankins does everything but mention Farmville in his ode to social media while still maintaining a catchy tune.

Elsewhere, "Rosetta Stone" sounds like a Mitch Easter/Don Dixon classic, "Underground" and "Time to Think" rock hard and melodic, and the uptempo "High Above the Fray" closes things on a high note in Chuck Berry style. Soul Magnet is a Southern-fried power pop treat, and you can enjoy with or without barbecue. The Garage is open.

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