Malcolm - radiotown
Malcolm MacDuffie plays guitar, piano and sings while heading this four-piece out of Bushwick in Brooklyn, least that's the only Bushwick I know of. He's also a recording engineer by trade, which explains the fantastic sound quality of the songs. They play big, jazzy, saucy music that make me think of those scenes in movies where someone unknowingly avoids an accident, blissfully unaware how close they were to tragedy.
The music isn't built on shambles. Rather, it ambles all over the place while MacDuffie does a brilliant take on those earnest Flying Nun vocalists. Drummer Ray Belli tethers the jubilant guitar work with steady even beats, and the tension is fun to listen to on songs like "My Favorite Toy" and "Candelabra." The music can also sound way gentle, such as on the loner-approved "A Danger to Themselves." They sound like what Big Star could've sound liked if they made music about two decades later. And yet, it's still modern sounding. I don't know, those guitars straddle era genres in the span of a chord change.
So two huge plusses: MacDuffie's voice and the guitars. His voice itself falls out of key sometimes but it's still an excellent fit for the celebratory music. Heck, even on the album's later bummed-out songs you still hear the mischief in MacDuffie. "Laugh Out Loud" and "It's All The Same" is the final slow-mo knockout the album delivers.
Throughout Radiotown you get a special feeling that comes from the strong song structures. It's got a 90s garage feel to it, though the foundation is definitely punk. No matter how loud the music gets, however, the walls never shake or threaten to collapse, and I believe that's what the special feeling is. I guess because it's a review you were expecting a complaint. It's not psychedelic music. That's all I have to say.
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