Goodnight Unknown

Goodnight Unknown

Ex-Dinosaur, Jr. bassist and ex-Sebadoh leader Lou Barlow has always had an affinity for the crunchy sound of lo-fi. Even here, with Godsmack producer Andrew Murdock on board, Barlow keeps things primitive and simple. His voice blends into the acoustic guitars of “Too Much Freedom,” finds the emotive center in the simple acoustic plea of “Faith In Your Heartbeat,” and gears up for the living-room rock attack of the title tune. Drummer Dale Crover of the Melvins and multi-instrumentalist Lisa Germano add their touches, but it’s all in service to Barlow’s warm, modest vocals that survive under all conditions. “The One I Call” has a backslapping, feel-good rhythm coming and going as Barlow stacks up the harmonies. “The Right” balances a roller-rink pop bounce with the serious tone of Barlow’s heartfelt vocals. “One Machine, One Long Fight” has enough surface noise to compete with Barlow’s manic lyric downpour. “Modesty” sounds like chamber pop recorded in the basement. No matter the style, it comes out Barlow.

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