The Kyle Sowashes


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Kyle Sowash has been paying his dues for a decade or so, making indie recordings that have had little penetration outside his home base of Columbus, OH. Now, joined by a regional all-star support band that includes members of 84 Nash, Sun God, and SPD GVNR, he's breaking out with a very fine album of straight-up meat-and-potatoes rock & roll that evokes the indie rock of the 1980s and early '90s (you'll hear more than a hint of the Replacements, Archers of Loaf, and even Hüsker Dü here) but uses those influences to create a personal sound that is simultaneously fresh and classically inflected. "Can't Make Up My Mind" and the headlong "Rough Week" define a sort of blue-collar alt-rock sound, while "Impatient Man" perfectly juxtaposes a cathartic chorus with a charmingly clunky guitar solo, and the slower, more brooding "Double Dragon" celebrates both Pabst Blue Ribbon and a vintage video combat game. "Blast from the Past" is especially reminiscent of Hüsker Dü, right down to Sowash's vocal phrasing on the chorus. The band veers onto thin ice with "When We Unloaded the Van" (Kyle, dude, no one wants to hear songs about audiences who "don't understand") and "I Would Like to Speak to Yr Manager" (way too long for its musical content). But the album holds together very nicely as a whole, and if you like clever but open-hearted rock & roll with a ragged edge, you'll find yourself wishing it were more than 27 minutes long.

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