The Buck Pets

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Mercurotones Review

by Stewart Mason

The Buck Pets were victims of bad timing. Had 1990's Mercurotones been released only a couple of years later in a post-Nevermind world, they would have had a really good shot at at least temporary stardom on the level of, say, Soul Asylum. For one thing, producer Michael Beinhorn gives this album the same radio-friendly gloss he gave to SA's breakthrough Grave Dancers Union two years later. (Indeed, the Dallas-based group proved a good half-decade ahead of the curve, having the Dust Brothers produce one track, the slippery "Libertine," long before Beck hooked up with them to create Odelay.) The group's songs are a rocking mix of late-period Hüsker Dü, Squirrel Bait, and Pleased to Meet Me-era Replacements, with the frantic edge softened by a country-ish twang here and there. Good solid stuff that deserved to be much bigger than it was.

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