Smattering

Bom

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    6
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AllMusic Review by

Featuring three songs recorded live in the studios of the much-loved Twin Cities radio station REV 105, this otherwise home recorded, cozy sounding album introduced a kinder, gentler, but no less sincere and convincing Smattering to the masses. Minneapolis performer Reba Fritz, late of punk-poppers Muskellunge, had joined the band, whose expanded lineup now included five principal members, and frontman Matt Olson had all but abandoned the post-punk of Balloon Guy and Smattering's own Sissy Bar LP for a softer, more melodic style of songwriting. The title track kicks off the record nicely; "Bom" is an unassuming and well-constructed pop song, inspired equally by Phil Spector's architectural approach to pop and the inconceivable idea that space is infinitely expansive. Other winners are the acoustic punk sing-along "Patrolman Hanger," about the Oklahoma State Trooper who arrested Timothy McVeigh, and the lovely "Ode to J.D. McClatchy." Bom's only questionable moments come during a disappointingly flat cover of Red Red Meat's "Braindead" and in Bill McGuire's nearly unbearable bullhorn backing vocals of the otherwise good "Pearly Gates." But those two missteps are easily forgiven and forgotten alongside the relative lo-fi greatness of the majority of the album's material.

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