Picks and Pans Review: Down by the Old Mainstream
Golden Smog is the gen-X answer to the Traveling Wilburys, a busman's holiday for a number of musicians who might otherwise never get to play together. The members of this ad hoc sextet are drawn from popular Alternative Rock groups like Wilco, Soul Asylum, the recently disbanded Jayhawks and Run Westy Run. The basic Smog style is a laid-back warble, somewhere in the country-rock continuum that runs from Gram Parsons in the early '70s to Uncle Tupelo in the '90s. But this album was hurriedly recorded over five days in 1994 (conflicting schedules precluded a more extensive commitment). The fruit of that minimal labor is slapdash and often trifling, like "Pecan Pie," an airy celebration of a dense dessert. Only a few tracks—"V" and "Red Headed Stepchild"—suggest a talented group of guys letting their hair down. Still, you may be drawn to Golden Smog for their willfully casual attitude and novelty. Just don't try to join the fan club. (Rykodisc)
On Newsstands Now
- The Little Couple: A New Mom's Fight to Live
- Remembering Nelson Mandela
- Princess Kate's Style Secret!
Pick up your copy on newsstands
Click here for instant access to the Digital Magazine