In 1996, the Scud Mountain Boys released one of the finest (and most overlooked) albums of the year. They have since broken up, but former singer and principal song-writer, Joe Pernice is back with this release, Chappaquiddick Skyline . While the music is less "rustic" than the albums he cut with the Scud Mountain Boys, it still retains its emotional impact. The music merges various musical styles from alt-country to pop; at times, he almost sounds like Elliot Smith. For the most part, the lyrics continue in the vein he writes: documenting relationships gone sour. However, his songs convey none of the maudlin self-pity so many artists tend to wallow in. In addition, he includes a cover of New Order's "Leave Me Alone" from their Power, Corruption and Lies LP. Brilliant!
Sub Pop, P.O. Box 20645, Seattle, WA 98102; http://www.subpop.com