If you can say – however lazily – that authorial-ly speaking (and vocals-wise), Anders is equidistant between the Buckner wine-drunk and the Farrar stoned pomo cleric guy…well, then say it. But what he brings to the table is a background in a big, noisy indie guitar band; as a result, even a “songwriter” album from Anders ends up featuring crazed, noisy, headphone-friendly tonal blissouts. (Also, Anders is far, far less prone to abstruse holding forth than either of the latter, these days. And don’t get me wrong – I really dig the latter two. But Anders is capable of writing a song that delivers a plain message in a coy, precise way, and that’s not so much Farrar’s province, these days.)
“Circle Same” is the brash album opener, replete with cut-up eratta for a prelude (‘el groovo?’). Parker’s voice sounds weirdly like Sam Prekop’s until the song shows itself to have more of a rocky bottom than you’d expect from Sea and Cake action. Cool Sally Tims vocs, too.
“Sarah” is almost too beautiful, seriously. It borders on evoking the weird affect some people associate with Teenage Fanclub’s take on Big Star. But, again, big old guitars check in with a deus ex machina flourish, as much like George Harrison records as Sonic Youth records.
Anders’ s/t is in the running for my top 5 of 2006; I have no idea how I’ll rank those 5. I hope I actually have the time to make a writing exercise out of this. But what would it say of me if I do?
(Check Anders Parker’s website for more songs and the various and sundry. )
ps – I ‘spared’ you ‘Missing, CA,’ prolly the best song on the album. It’s more the sorta fare I’d slap on a mixtape for you-know-who.
pps – Anders Parker also plays in a band called Gob Iron. That band’s the nuts, let me tell you. They put out a very cool record of ’06, too. But more on that later.