Stolen: Honda Dream (Best Kept Secret)

This US trio have had a couple of albums out on the label before, so I knew roughly what to expect on inserting this into the player. The slightly off-key vocals and lo-fi backing are all present and correct, but the songs themselves seem to have improved, and ‘Howdy Chief’ certainly starts promisingly before settling down into their trademark ballads. ‘City Of Roses’ introduces the Casio on another slowie, and while ‘Turtleneck’ is a bit faster it is still extremely lo-fi. The oddest track by far on here is a cover of Sonic Youth’s ‘Pacific Coast Highway’ done with just piano and vocals, and a weird little effort it is too. The title track is a guitar/vocal track given an almost vaudeville feel, making it very out of step with the rest of the album, but it is a one-off and the rest of the side is made up of gentle ballads, and one stab at a pop song in ‘Sawyer’s Sunshine’, which is only let down by the weak vocal performance. I did not think that I would like this tape much before I put it on, and although I mostly stand by that opinion, there are glimpses here that the band are trying new things, and so the next one could be the breakthrough that they are waiting for.

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