I've made it a habit on this site to not post too many negative (music) reviews so I guess the fact that I'm posting this at all tells you that I liked some things about the debut solo record from a member of Parquet Courts. A. Savage is offering up Thawing Dawn on Friday via Dull Tools. And, guess what? It sounds nothing like Parquet Courts so don't get your little indie hopes up.
What Thawing Dawn does sound like, instead, is a decent artist dabbling in a few other genres. A more cynical view would be to to say that it's modern indie-rock's hot take on the far superior Exile On Main Street, or any number of Neil Young records from the start of the Seventies. At his infrequent best here, Savage works himself up into a neat approximation of Leonard Cohen and Beat Happening ("Indian Style", "Wild Wild Horses"). At his worst, he meanders down roads that are best left untrod as the drawled-out "Ladies From Houston" and "What Do I Do" make abundantly clear. Gone here are the sharp edges of virtually any Parquet Courts record. In the place of something marginally sharp and bright, we get this sort of sub-stoner rock stuff that suggests the very worst sort of material one could make by copying Palace Brothers without any of Will Oldham's heartfelt delivery. Still, at least on the title cut and "Phantom Limbo" A. Savage offers up a few noisy moments that suggest a more adventurous path, one that, regrettably, A. Savage didn't take on so much of this record.
Thawing Dawn by A.. Savage is out on Friday via Dull Tools.
[Photo: Vince McLelland]