12 Songs, 41 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Martin Newell has been so consistent over the years—with The Cleaners from Venus, The Brotherhood of Lizards, and solo—that it's easy to overlook an album or two or three when considering his massive, underappreciated catalog. Sure, his cult following knows what it has in Newell, but fans of the better-known Guided by Voices might be surprised to learn there's another fine (and prolific) tunesmith working in the shadows of '60s-influenced pop. "Walk Up and Smell the Offy" and "You Slay Me" start things with the usual infectious jangled guitars, while "Sugarcane" switches the offense to acoustic guitars and a Spanish flavor that hints at XTC's "Dear God." "The Boys of September" kicks in at the piano for a majestic ballad. "A Smashing Bird Like Brenda" sports the subtle joyous humor, the delightfully overdriven guitars, and the heavily echoed vocals that are Newell's trademark. "Days Like These" breaks out the acoustic guitar for a Beggars Banquet–based folk-blues.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Martin Newell has been so consistent over the years—with The Cleaners from Venus, The Brotherhood of Lizards, and solo—that it's easy to overlook an album or two or three when considering his massive, underappreciated catalog. Sure, his cult following knows what it has in Newell, but fans of the better-known Guided by Voices might be surprised to learn there's another fine (and prolific) tunesmith working in the shadows of '60s-influenced pop. "Walk Up and Smell the Offy" and "You Slay Me" start things with the usual infectious jangled guitars, while "Sugarcane" switches the offense to acoustic guitars and a Spanish flavor that hints at XTC's "Dear God." "The Boys of September" kicks in at the piano for a majestic ballad. "A Smashing Bird Like Brenda" sports the subtle joyous humor, the delightfully overdriven guitars, and the heavily echoed vocals that are Newell's trademark. "Days Like These" breaks out the acoustic guitar for a Beggars Banquet–based folk-blues.

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