Boomkat Product Review:
What do you get if you cross Mercury Rev, The Smiths, Roy Orbison and Blur? A clutch of lazy comparisons? Well maybe, but they're all pertinent to Cass McCombs and his new album 'PREfection' which hungrily plunders decades of indie-rock and suggest he's able to soak up influences like a box-fresh sponge. Album opener, 'Equinox', takes the bittersweet grandeur of the Doves giving it a healthy backspin that sees it knocked firmly into J. Xaverre territory as simple melodies and McComb's echoing vocals combine to produce a soothing optimism. 'Subtraction' meanwhile gets the cock-in-hand beat of Iggy Pop's 'Lust For Life' then sacks the ex-Stooges front man, brings in Roy Orbison and installs The Smiths to provide backing. It may sound an unrivalled mess, but McCombs somehow knits it all together and in doing so produces a sound that may have parallels but doesn't come across as a derivative, hollow Xerox. Similarly 'Multiple Suns' takes the Glam-Rock stomp of T-Rex and refits it with filtered vocals and death march drums and in doing so somehow invokes the spirit of 'This Is Hardcore'-era Pulp. The comparisons could keep coming with 'Tourist Woman's plethora of scuzzed guitars and chord structures reminiscent of the Libertines whilst the music-hall mischievousness of 'Bury Mary' is straight out of the Blur instruction manual. However for all these echoes, McCombs still produces a sound that is distinct enough to be original even if it does belie the obvious high-esteem in which he holds his NME-centric record collection.