Red Jacket Mine – Lovers Lookout

January 01, 1970

(Showpony)

 

www.redjacketmine.net

 

The Northwest’s gonna rise again. Though Seattle and the NW
region in general no longer generates the same level of excitement it sustained
for a good while in the aftermath of the Nirvana goldrush – the Internet, with
all its unfolding egalitarianism, ensured that practically any regional scene could
enjoy its fifteen minutes or more, A&R hysteria and press hype be damned –
there are always little breakthrough moments we indie rock aficionados look
(listen) for. One such moment arrives with Seattle’s
Red Jacket Mine, whose second full-length is bursting at the digital seams with
pristine pop and luminous blue-eyed soul, with hints of psychedelia and Americana lining the
seams.

 

Did someone just mention pop? Right from the get-go, Lovers Lookout is aglow: “Stay Golden”
chugs along on a rich bed of guitar jangles and organ hums, while just two
songs later, on “Childish Things,” the band builds up a jubilant head of
powerpop steam that’ll have you reaching for your dB’s and Big Star (hold that
thought) records. On the latter track, guest Eyvind Kang also adds a striking,
almost cinematic, string motif. And soul? The band dips a foot into Memphis and Muscle Shoals
territory via “Such An Easy Thing,” an organ-driven slice of R&B brimming
with passion thanks to songwriter Lincoln Barr’s smooth yet vulnerable warble.
Likewise, “Apricot Moon” is a smoky waltztime ballad with soaring vocal
harmonies and Kang’s strings again lending an uncommon dramatic heft; another
guest, Ian Moore, unleashes some appropriately bluesy guitar licks as well. And
everything coalesces wonderfully with “The Pose,” a shimmering, thrumming
marriage of Brit-pop and vintage college rock, sophisticated in tone yet with a
raw, primal edge.

 

As produced by Ken Stringfellow, Lovers Lookout has instant cover-sticker cachet – and Posies/Big
Star/R.E.M. fans will surely find the four young men of Red Jacket Mine to be
kindred spirits – but the bottom line is that these guys have the kind of songs
and chops that will weather any level of scrutiny. Come on up for the rising.

 

Standout Tracks: “The
Pose,” “Apricot Moon,” “Childish Things” FRED MILLS

 

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