Tuesday, July 28, 2009

CD of the Day: 7/28/09, Scott Warren-Quick Fix Bandage

Quick Fix Bandage is the debut solo album from the frontman of Signal Hill Transmission, a band that has had an interesting history. They debuted in 2005 with Tomorrow, The Stars, a largely alt-country disc, followed it up with 2007's An Empty Space, which saw them move in a pronounced power pop direction (and featured "Cherry is a Girl", which would make my short list of top power pop songs of the decade) and then signed with ATO Records in 2008, hooking up with Pete Yorn & Liz Phair's producer and releasing the Starting Gun EP, in which they tried a bit too hard to be radio-ready.

The common thread in all the SHT albums, though, was Warren's songwriting ability, and now that he's gone solo he's managed to come almost full circle and release a laid-back, country-influenced pop album in the style of solo Rhett Miller and sometimes songwriting-partner Todd Herfindal of The Meadows, who helped engineer the album. "Before You Say Goodbye", which opens the album, is about as good as anything Warren's written, from its easygoing melody to its light country instrumentation. "Along for the Ride" and "Same Old Scene" are spare but lovely; and the atmospheric pedal steel of "For the Ride" should make happy all of those who wonder why Jeff Tweedy doesn't do these kinds of song anymore; and "Speed of Sound" will appeal to those who loved SHT's power-popping efforts. Warren closes the proceedings with a slowed-down cover of America's "Sister Golden Hair", which is nice but hurt my brain to listen to as the faster-paced original is so embedded in my memory that I found myself mentally singing along about 2-3 lines ahead throughout. I will give him credit for not doing a rote cover, however (cough, cough, Matthew Sweet & Susanna Hoffs).

Buy CD here | MySpace | iTunes

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