Swearing at Motorists

More Songs From the Mellow Struggle

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Although Swearing at Motorists has their share of ties to fellow Daytonites Guided by Voices -- singer/guitarist Dave Doughman was GBV's soundman at the same time that his cohort, Don Thrasher, was their drummer -- this duo has their own thing going on. Doughman and Thrasher (whose names sound like some sort of bizarro-world superhero team) aren't as interested in the British Invasion as Robert Pollard and crew, and their songs tend to be either much softer or much harder, with little in between. In this respect, Swearing at Motorists is much closer in spirit to the Grifters, minus the Memphis group's tendencies toward Pavement-style archness. In fact, Doughman's lyrics, uncharacteristically for this brand of D.I.Y. indie, are surprisingly personal and introspective while avoiding Elliott Smith-style whining. The stunning centerpiece, "Telford to North Main," has the delicate opening and climactic finish of a classic Neil Young ballad; while none of the rest of the disc, barring the rocking single "I'll Only Sleep" and the closing "Neighborhood of Sirens," is quite up to that level of achievement, More Songs From the Mellow Struggle is still an unexpectedly dense and melodic release.

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