A surprising solo project from Comets on Fire drummer Utrillo Kushner, Acapulco Roughs strongly recalls Jim O'Rourke's late-'90s solo albums, a blend of exploded post-rock song structures (half of the album's eight songs break the five-minute barrier, and "A Poor Boy's Zodiac" drones on for over 11) and a seemingly non-ironic love for the softer side of '70s singer/songwriter pop. Both the opening "Just Like a Mademoiselle" and the languid "The Honeycreeper Smiles" include jazzy horns and woodwinds arrangements that wouldn't be out of place on a Chicago album, and Kushner's mellow piano style and high, reedy vocals are at the forefront of all of the songs. Although the sound and feel of the album is pure Laurel Canyon circa 1971, Kushner's melodies are almost too subtle at times, lacking the kind of memorable hooks that were the holy grail of that brand of pop/rock. But while no one will confuse Colossal Yes with Elton John, Kushner's genial, meandering piano runs and the overall mellow good vibes of Acapulco Roughs make it an enjoyable chillout listen.
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AllMusic Review by Stewart Mason