Doug Gillard is a guy with one hell of a résumé: he's been a member of Death of Samantha, Cobra Verde, Guided by Voices, and Nada Surf, and has contributed to albums by My Dad Is Dead, Richard Buckner, Bill Fox, and Sally Crewe & the Sudden Moves. But while he's a well-respected sideman, Gillard hasn't made much of an impression as a solo artist, though his third album on his own, 2014's Parade On, might well change that. Parade On is an eclectic, superbly crafted pop album that confirms Gillard is a gifted tunesmith as well as a talented guitarist, and he knows his stuff as a producer and arranger, too. Gillard plays all the instruments on Parade On (except for the drums), and he's a solid little band here -- the guitar work is strong and serves the melodies well without tossing in a lot of needless flash, and the layers of lead and rhythm mesh very nicely while the bass is tough yet flexible. And from the sparkly jangle of "Your Eyes" and the smart acoustic attack of "Upper Hand" to the soaring, Beatles-influenced "Oh My Little Girl" and the sweet but aggressive power pop of the title track, Gillard can write and play quality pop songs of all shapes and sizes (and with various degrees of bittersweet snark in the lyrics). And it's not all pop, either -- "No Perspective" and "On Target" show the man can rock hard when he wants to, and his vocals are cool and to the point. If you dig guitar-fueled rock & roll with an extra portion of pop hooks, then Parade On is just the record you've been waiting for, and shows Doug Gillard has the talent to match plenty of his well-known friends.
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AllMusic Review by Mark Deming