The Carson Mcullers

For Esme

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Back in the '90s, you could count on anything with New York engineer Kramer's name to be of quality, like Galaxie 500, Low, Lotion, Maureen Tucker, and Edith Frost. The ex-Shockabilly and Butthole Surfers guy still does good work. He's definitely the smart choice to mix and master this psychedelic, slow, grungy (as in dirty!), heavy band, engineered by C. Fraher. Led by a shadowy, clearly literary Jamison (Carson McCullers, 1917-1967, different spelling, was a venerated author and playwright, and For Esme was a 1950 J.D. Salinger short story), the group turns shoegaze into a contact sport, with the heft of the Verve and Catherine Wheel with some of the acid damage edge of Satanic Majesties Rolling Stones and Piper at the Gates of Dawn Pink Floyd. They do scary-quiet as well, but it's the scaled heights of the hefty "Brother" and "Cub Scout" or the faster-paced, hot "Tom Jones" which will throw minds into scattered tizzies, even as the guitar grinds, growls, and stomps its way into your jowls. The Carson Mcullers have a good dozen cassette and CD-R albums under their belt, most long out of print, but this is a terrific place to start.