Concerto for Second Fiddle
Doug McKean returns with two brand new records, Concerto for Second Fiddle and Unquiet, recorded with Ryan Foltz (Rancid, The Magpies, Elephant Bones). Unquiet sets a series of ghost tales to a musical backdrop that is appropriately cinematic in it's scope, covering everything from power pop to bluegrass to spaghetti western. Concerto for Second Fiddle plays as a lean straight-forward rock record with tracks like 'Searchlight' and 'Like Wilkins Micawber' begging to be played with the windows rolled down before the Ohio winter creeps up. These records follow 2006's Heels Up, which saw McKean moving away from punk and into soul and Stonesy rock territory. Concerto for Second Fiddle is a fitting followup, with even bigger beats and harmonies, and crunchier guitars. The horns on Twenty Nine recall the soul-inflected detours of Heels Up, while 'Postcards from Home' brings the album to a wistful conclusion right before the coda of 'Until the Next Cliffhanger' wallops the listener with a tale of debauchery in Amsterdam accompanied by an army of guitars that would make J Mascis proud.