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Baby Ray

Do I Love America

Thirsty Ear

Neat new effort from this professional linguist-fronted pop-Americana band. The first track, "Gossamer Riddle," sounds like someone spent a lot of time absorbing a lot of Peter Murphy's or other pop-goth-weird music, mixed in their own twangy guitar twist and viola! an addictive little puzzling ditty. "Olive Novel Love" is even crazier. It starts out pretty normal, with a guitar sound and vocal that says "midwest" for some reason to me. Then it's into this bizarre fuzzy, psychedelic guitar dervish that blew me away. "Sheep Are My Keeper" is a melodic pop song sung through a funnel. "Wisdom of the Boondocks" is a sick tune that's, well, in need of serious therapy. It's all confused fuzz and more funnel-ized vocals. Woosh! There's seven songs altogether on this mysterious release the last one, "Playful Robert," being particularly disturbing, like it's played on an old autoharp and washboard.

Thirsty Ear Recordings, 274 Madison Ave., Suite 804, New York, NY 10016; http://www.thirstyear.com

--David Lee Beowulf