Puppet's Night Out

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The first full-length release from a New York City-based "band" which consists of guitarist/vocalist Rob McCulloch and a rotating cast of accomplished hired guns, Puppet's Night Out has a surprisingly raw feel, highlighted by McCulloch's beautifully sandpaper and whiskey-toned, Paul Westerberg-influenced vocals. Supple manages to raise the stakes in the genre of self-loathing and existential angst-obsessed songwriting, avoiding Nirvana rip-off-ism by virtue of the single-mindedness of McCulloch's obsession. Musically, Puppet's Night Out is pretty standard '90s alternative rock, although Adam Lippman contributes some nicely melodic basslines throughout, and "Pantry Door" features some interesting Robert Quine/Richard Lloyd-style lead guitar. Overall, the first Supple album ranks favorably among similar-sounding albums because of the maturity and inventiveness of Rob McCulloch's songwriting.

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