My Dad Is Dead

A New Clear Route

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Mark Edwards has made great records since the '80s on beloved Cleveland co-op imprint St. Valentine (Offbeats, Reactions, Mice, Death of Samantha, etc.), Homestead, and Scat. But listening to A New Clear Route, you'd think he was an irascible Joe College, he's so wound up and kickin'. Now based in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, the veteran singer/songwriter misses his old base, as affectionately admitted in "Carolina Blue." But he's transplanted Cleveland's industrial grit in these dense, unremitting guitars, an exemplary '80s indie rock cacophony that nearly obscures his gruff, articulate singing. Damned if Edwards' voice isn't starting to sound exactly like the Wedding Present's David Gedge, too, especially with this louder, faster backing. It's plenty good.

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