Look What's Left

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On the Wampeters' 1994 outing Look What's Left, guitarist/producer/vocalist Mark Doyon presents a crisp and agressive mix of Buzzcocks-styled pop tunes performed at an Elvis Costello tempo. The jangle guitar is ever present, putting a sparkling undertone on the proceedings -- half a decade before they would turn things bleaker with the Murder Your Darlings epic. Employing an idea from the Lou Reed/David Byrne school of one-word titles the Wampeters churn out "Caricature," "Disappear," "Bloom," and "Circles" alongside underground essays like "Days of Beer and Daisies" -- an interesting story told over mild psychedelic punk. Scott Goodrick keeps a solid beat in unison with Paul Bloch's bass guitar, giving Doyon a platform for his creativity. A short Beatlesque ditty called "Everybody's Here" has a vocal sound straight from the Buggles, providing a bridge to the country-rock "One (Fine) Day," a Rubber Rodeo-type desirous lament. Combining Don Quixote and Wiley Coyote in the rhyme scheme and plot is pretty clever, and cleverness is the element that the band uses to good effect on all 11 tracks as well as the double-entendre title. Is it look what is remaining or look what's coming up on the left?

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