The Bevis Frond

Hit Squad

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Will Nick Saloman never run out of ideas? After releasing more than 20 albums in 15 years (many of them double LPs), he's still cranking out solid pop-psych, and still packing as much music as he can onto those little silver discs. And clocking in at 78-plus minutes, Hit Squad continues the trend and offers up some fresh additions as well. The "Penny Lane"-esque trumpet fanfare on "All Set" is one twist on the Bevis sound, as are the sweet female backing vocals on "Way Back When." Then there's the moody (and lengthy) "Fast Falls the Eventide," with its weird treated drum sound and odd synth tones, which is unlike anything in the Bevis catalog. Besides that, he offers up the full gamut of Bevis Frond sounds, from the introspective "Crumbs" to the very heavy "Am I Burning?" and nearly everything in between. The title cut sounds something like the "Batman Theme" crossed with Blue Cheer's take on "Summertime Blues," but "Through the Hedge" is classic epic Bevis: nearly nine minutes long with great dueling guitar leads. And "I Feel Bad About You" and "Mission Completed" make sure that there's no shortage of excellent guitar solos. Hit Squad has Saloman playing to his strengths, but not resting on his laurels. To show such consistency over such a long period is impressive in itself, but Hit Squad is a good listen, too.

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