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coverpic flag US - Illinois - Full Moon 173 - 10/23/10

Tall Grass Captains
In The Resistance

Tall Grass Captains (formerly known as Tall Grass Captains of Greater Chicago) took me by surprise with their debut She Moved Through, and I was excited when receiving a new platter from the Ubique label. Could yet another rather anonymous and dull-looking cover sleeve unveil pop gems of class?

The Captain of the Captains is Mark Mattson (vocals, guitar, bass, keyboard, perc). TGC is his project, and he's a more than decent song smith. Sidekick (and former Grenadier band mate) Craig Swafford (drums, perc, keyboard) is still one of the other captains. The other staff seems like new recruits to me (I might be wrong), and the players has brought vibraphone, sitar, pedal steel and horn on board. Musically TGC flirt with familiar sounds from the shelves of popular music from the early 1970s and forth. This time I'd say: imagine something between Matthew Sweet and Elliott Smith (just check "Dime"). Pop and rock with a touch of melancholy. TGC use 'power pop' or 'psychedelic folk rock' as tags when describing themselves. The psychedelic twist comes with "Chaouen". "Devil's Own" and the fine "Side Effect" bring the power into pop. "Sunshine" is a bit like Sparklehorse-y (sounding a bit like "Eyepennies" at first). All in all, a bunch of fine songs, but not mind-blowing or body moving.

In The Resistance isn't quite what I was hoping for. I had great expectations. Maybe I expected too much. Mark, I'm still a fan, though.

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