Gramercy Arms – Gramercy Arms

January 01, 1970

(Cheap Lullaby Records)

 

www.cheaplullaby.com

 

Well, they won’t be mistaken for Cream. But these New
Yorkers have assembled something of a supergroup, with their time served in
Guided By Voices, Luna, Joan as Police Woman, Dead Air and the Dambuilders. And
just in case you needed more incentive, this album is swimming in cameos by
Sarah Silverman – yes, Sarah Silverman – Lloyd Cole, Chris Brokaw and Joan
Wasser, in addition to members of Nada Surf, Shudder to Think and the Pernice
Brothers.

 

But knowing all that isn’t nearly as compelling as the songs
themselves, an unassuming power-pop revival with the kind of hooks you rarely
get with power-pop revivals. “Looking at the Sun” – the track with Silverman on
bup-bup-bas – could be Simon and Garfunkel trying to write another “Mrs.
Robinson,” while “Nothing I Can Do” is the sort of melancholy pop song Teenage
Fanclub always did so well. The lead-off number, “Automatic,” rocks it up more,
straying into post-punk territory, but the other songs go quietly about their
business of lodging indelible pop hooks in your head, one soundtrack placement
away from a mainstream breakthrough.

 

Standout Tracks: “Looking at the Sun,” “Nothing I Can Do.” A. WATT

 

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