The two-disc collection Nashville Smashers covers Victor Lovera's late- '70s output, when the New York to Nashville transplant abandoned the largely acoustic singer/songwriter material he had previously focused on, moving into '60s-inspired, new wave-influenced power pop. The first disc consists primarily of demos Lovera recorded with his longtime musical partner R. Stevie Moore in 1976 and 1977, who gives the songs a similar feel to the quirky, synth-enhanced art pop, especially on the effectively eerie version of the old standard "In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning." Of the originals, highlights include the sneering, Sweet-like "Kiss That Goodbye," and the dreamy, psychedelic "Took Awhile." A cleaned-up version of the latter song appears on the second disc, which collects the entirety of the Smashers' 1981 LP featuring Lovera, guitarist Fagan Arouh, and bassist Gypsy Carns, along with a pair of Nashville session musicians, creating post-Knack power pop in a distinctly early- '80s mode. Fans of the Elvis Brothers, the Romantics, and Dirty Looks should find this material particularly appealing, especially the soaring opener "Gleason," a chiming bit of jangly new wave pop fluff that's ripe for rediscovery.
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