US - Illinois - Full Moon 70 - 06/24/02
Archer Prewitt is one cool motherfucker. As if being the guitarist in The Sea and Cake wasn't
enough, he's gone on to produce some excellent solo records: In The Sun, White Sky
and the mini-LP Gerroa Songs. In The Sun, his debut, is a lovely record, with a
couple of awesome tunes and lots of pleasant, airy filler that I listen to when I'm feeling nice
and relaxed. White Sky is even better, with plenty more cracking tunes and more of a coherent
album feel. Gerroa Songs, meanwhile, is an evocative and atmospheric snapshot of a particular
time and place: a holiday Archer took to Australia with some friends. The songs are darker, slower,
starker. It's sad and sounds like Nick Drake jamming with a bunch of friends. Nice.
And now the imaginatively-titled Three, his first record for Thrill Jockey. Starts well
enough with some good 'uns: "Over The Line" and "Tear Me All Away" are the kind of songs he does
best, crammed with hooks and catchy as hell. Archer's voice is as lovely and plaintive as ever, and
the instrumentation is fuller. There's even a naughty-sounding refrain in "Tear Me All Away": 'In
the dark she looks much older / She sunk her teeth into my shoulder'! Filth, uncharacteristic for
You see that's part of the problem: Archer is such a sweet chap that all these lovey dovey holistic
love pop anthems get a bit cloying when you've trawled through 14 of them. And an hour of this?
A bit much Archer, really.
I had to get this album though. It's a Sea and Cake-related album so jumped to the top of my
shopping list. It's OK, some good tunes, nothing mindblowing, and some really derivative crap
that makes me skip to the next track ("Two Can Play" sounds like Matthew Jay, which is inexcusable;
and the backing vocals on "Sister Ice" are unbearable). Fine if you like this kind of indie pop
album, but hardly essential.
I'm waiting for a new solo record by Sam Prekop and the next Sea and Cake album...
Copyright © 2002 Tim Clarke