Indiana-based Mike Detmer, operating under the nom de rock the Spectacular Fantastic, serves up an impressive assortment of tunes on his second solo album, New Equations for the Simple Mind. Recorded in his living room, Detmer is an instrumental everyman, handling all of the instrumental chores with the proficiency of a veteran band. "All Alone" launches the set with organ flourishes that evolve into a Beatles-derived lo-fi stomp, and as the disc progresses Detmer wears his influences like a favorite shirt. "Dream Song" is a lilting, acoustic ballad reminiscent of Spring Hill Fair-era Go-Betweens, while "Baby" rocks along like Pavement circa Brighten the Corners. Detmer's regular Joe vocals on tracks like "Depression" are far outstripped by his songwriting pen, but the guy's moniker is dead on much of the time, with "Greentree" -- a delightful but brief love song -- serving as further evidence. All told, New Equations for the Simple Mind is a welcome collection of adept indie rock.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by John D. Luerssen