This Boston-based rocker's collection of infectious melodic jangle pop and swamp folk is actually a combination of two self-released EPs from the late '90s. Divided into two distinct sections, part one finds Mellin plowing through the groovy sounds of the British Invasion and mid-'60s American pop with guitar arpeggios, falsetto harmonies, handclaps, Farfisa organ textures, and a backbeat worthy of Ringo Starr's hearty approval. Cuts such as "Frankly Babe," "Shocked at First," and "Wilson Squared Airport Disaster" utilize primitive studio trickery such as canned applause, spoken word vignettes, and the crackling pop of vinyl to add an additional smattering of authenticity. Part two could be sub-titled "Mellin's Music From Big Pink" as the singer/songwriter opts for acoustic guitars, upright bass, accordion, and echo-laden vocals which give the cuts an aura of desperation and loneliness. Mellin's rootsy persona shines best on "Half-Moon in 4/4," a tongue-in-cheek country dirge that bemoans the perils of romance. Though he wears his influences on his sleeve, Mellin is never derivative and his songs are well crafted. The musicians on this album are among the cream of the crop of New England's underground pop coalition, including Andy Pastore and John Clarke (Charlie Chesterman & the Legendary Motorbikes), Suzi Lee (Coronet Premiers, Slide), brother Joel Mellin (the Oscillators), and Jake Guralnick (the Eddies, Tuffskins).
AllMusic Review by Tom Semioli