I can relate to the bespectacled guy staring back at me from the cover of MIKE ADAMS AT HIS HONEST WEIGHT’S new album, Best of Boiler Room Classics. Here’s a guy who I’m guessing is in his mid-thirties and according to the press release is a new father (one who has recently been through some very personal battles for the life of his new son).
Even nerdy looking guys with glasses have their demons to battle, myself included. On first listen, it’s evident that Mr. Adams is definitely a guy who knows his way around classic power pop, country and rock. Best of Boiler Room Classics portrays a man familiar with all of the nooks and crannies of his vinyl collection, one most likely excavated from dusty salvation armies and yard sales on lazy Saturday and Sunday afternoons. It’s also a pretty safe bet he inherited his Dad’s Fleetwood Mac and ELO records too (most especially Tusk for the former and Out of the Blue for the latter).
Make no mistake, this isn’t a costume party and Mike Adams isn’t simply playing dress up with the sounds of yesteryear. The album boasts a modern and clean production aesthetic and is packed with songs that boast a sturdy construction along with all of the necessary moving parts. The guitars are bright with just the right amount of shimmer and crunch. The album kicks things off with the moody droning instrumental, “If,” which evokes a certain melancholy that carries throughout the record. Some other highlights include the big hooks and slight country tinges of “Be Free, Live Well,” and the electric stomp of “The Fingers You Know,” which is reminiscent of Cellar Door era John Vanderslice to these ears.
If there’s any complaint about Best of Boiler Room Classics, it’s probably that at its honest weight, it could use a bit of diet as the album feels a tad overlong. But that’s a minor complaint, saying that there is too much of a good thing happening here. Adorned with moody synths, tasteful strings, detailed production and the presence of a slight bittersweet sadness underpinning it all, this is modern underground pop with just enough of what made yesteryear’s sounds memorable to stick the landing.
Genre/ Tags: Pop, Alternative
Best of Boiler Room Classics LP: Tracklist:
2.) Be Free, Live Well
3.) I’m Worried
4.) Findings of Feelings, Findings of Fact
5.) A Woman is the New Man
6.) Count on It
8.) The Bright Line
9.) Don’t Want It, Don’t Get It
10.) The Fingers You Know
11.) That’s Itt, Cuz
12.) Good Thing Going