@@@ Cass McCombs: Heartmind (Anti-, 2022) This record opens up with some chill rocking/crunchy guitar and McCombs’ Lennon-y flavored vocalizing. It’s a fresh guitar player for sure, I’m agnostic on the singing, and I’m agnostic on the mid ’70s general flow. The second tune, Karaoke, is super uptempo and uplifting, it may be too positive for my taste. This track is Wilco super high on caffeine which is a mixed bag. I’m gonna go out on the third track Unproud Warrior — I like the upright bass, it’s a nice touch, it’s downtempo so I don’t have to swallow the excessive uplift of the last track and the drummer really glues this together. I guess we have firmly exited the rock tradition where a record is a blend of darkness and light and folks are pretty much up for the light and not super up for the darkness that makes so much art deeper and more meaningful. McCombs has talent and there are moments here that I connect with but it lacks for me.
@@@ Eli Winter: Eli Winter (N/A, 2022) Off this week’s 10 most reviewed albums on Pitchfork. The first track is an energetic electric folk kinda thing with some rock energy in there. Intricate guitar playing with multiple guitar tracks and interesting drumming. Slide guitar too. This kind of instrumental folk rock thing is a pretty narrow formula from a while ago. ’70s and shit. More people would be interested if there was a singer but he didn’t go that way and I give him props. I really like that whoever mixed the record put the drums up high as it really infuses the record with energy. I think folks should check this record out, it has performance, good energy and creativity.