John Shough

Ultra Vega

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For a decade and a half, John Shough has worked behind the scenes in Ohio's well-known Cro-Magnon Studios. While acting as a producer and engineer for such notable names as the Breeders, the Mulchmen, and Guided by Voices, he's bided his time, waiting for a chance to show off his chops. In 2000, he stepped out of the shadows to create his own masterpiece of lo-fi, Ultra Vega. With 20 bouncing, vivacious tracks recorded in the wee hours at Cro-Magnon, Shough proves he's more than just a top-notch technician -- he's a gifted songwriter. There are no rotten apples here: Every song reverberates with subtle hooks and luscious melodies. One of the best is "Gone Fishing," which rocks with a '60s groove, although its production gives it a feel reminiscent of XTC's Dukes of Stratosphear. An intelligent album that will make musicians and fans take notice.

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