Jad Fair

The Lucky Sperms: Somewhat Humorous

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The Lucky Sperms: Somewhat Humorous serves as a bookend disc to the It's Spooky disc that Jagjaguwar re-released only a few months before this came out, an effort of two of indie rock's most distinct and collaborative-friendly spirits. Much like the decade-old predecessor, both artists' unique personalities shine through, though this time out most of the material resembles Johnston's Rejected Unknown solo outing that came out approximately at the same time, with the same whimsical, lovelorn melancholia. Fair's contribution is mostly instrumentation and a few songs where he takes over as the lead vocalist. The best thing about him is in his bringing Johnston out of a completely minimalist mindset, giving the capricious stream-of-semi-conscious, chokin' word style more substance behind it. Serving as a foil to the two is multi-instrumentalist Chris Bultman. Everything on Lucky Sperms resembles another musical form gone tragically wrong, as if an alien race tried to mimic musical styles of earthly origin without a point of reference to put it in perspective. The result is not totally unlike It's Spooky -- both discs have oddball cover tunes; "Lost" is the most obvious of several tracks that see the trio coming as close to the blues as possible, and "Easter Bunny" could be a Butthole B-side -- but it also sounds more modern in comparison, and just as spontaneous.

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