bad, but not great power pop songs, sporting their fair share of
dBs sheen on relatively straightforward radio-ready music. When
there isn't a distinctive Bob Mound-as-Sugar thing going on (though
these tracks lack the depth and edginess of that band's landmark
efforts) Strangeways comes off as an alt-country tribute,
patting Uncle Tupelo and Son Volt on their respective shoulders.
The four-piece, headed
by former Omahan, now Seattlite Michael Jaworski, knows its '90s-era
alt -- an era when alt rock still meant something good. And they
hit it flat on the head, perhaps too flat, because there's nothing
here all of us poor suckers who lived through it haven't heard before.
Makes one wonder if a band that's so influenced by its influences
could ever allow its own voice to emerge. Without something new
to add, there's nothing here to hear except really good mimicry.
I'll wait until Jaworski and Co. come up with their own thing. At
least they got the influence-part down pat.
Posted Sept. 22,
2002. Copyright © 2002 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.
one wonder if a band that's so influenced by its influences
could ever allow its own voice to emerge."