The Failures' Union

Sinker

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The sticker promises fun for Guided by Voices, Buffalo Tom, and Lemonheads fans -- and a moonlighting Lemuria member. And for once, a band has actually gotten a "recommended if you like" list right. On the Buffalo trio's first LP, songs such as "Give Way" and "The Worst" could be "Alison's Starting to Happen" if throaty Bill Janovitz beat Evan Dando over the head and took over -- in other words, Lemonheads were never this thick, and Buffalo Tom never this finger-snapping poppy. Meanwhile, Robert Pollard was off getting drunk and missed the faster numbers, but he could cover slower hooky numbers like "Burned to Last" and "Love to Leave It" (though not the surprising lap steel C&W-measured "Useless Facts" and "Carry It Well"). Leader Tony Flaminio has a delightfully effective voice, a little syrupy the way you like it (think Archers of Loaf), and he writes strapping riffs like knocking down pins. Excellent debut!

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