The Lemonheads

Car Button Cloth

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If Come On Feel the Lemonheads was a bit confused, Car Button Cloth is positively a mess, filled with perfect pop, stoned rock, and rambling country-rock, which is alternately ingratiating and infuriating. Evan Dando may have (relatively) sobered up between the two records, but the sound of Car Button Cloth is even wearier than before -- his voice is beginning to show signs of abuse, while the tempos often sag and lurch, occasionally becoming burdened with lead guitars that steal directly from J Mascis. The turgid grunge that wears at the fringes of the record actually makes the gems all the more endearing. "If I Could Talk I'd Tell You" is one of Dando's finest three-chord singalongs; the self-deprecating "The Outdoor Type" is excellent country-rock; the stop-start verses of "It's All True" are fleshed out by Dando's weary croak; and the grunge interpretation of "Knoxville Girl" is actually very affecting. However, only dedicated fans will be willing to sort through the hubris to actually find these songs, which is unfortunate, because at its best, Car Button Cloth is as good as anything Dando has yet recorded.

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