Wednesday, June 20, 2012

REVIEW: Bart and Friends -There May Come A Time

If a gathering of jangle pop fans sat down, poured a few ales (yes, we drink ales, thank you very much), and took turns offering lineups of potential supergroups, one certainly would have a knock-out round contender if he or she suggested Bart Cummings (The Cat's Miaow, Hydroplane, Pencil Tin and The Shapiros), Mark Monnone (The Lucksmiths), Louis Richter (Mid State Orange, The Lucksmiths), and Jeremy Cole (The Zebras).  But the truly competitive player (assume that the winner drinks free) leaves nothing to chance, and suggests that the vocals for the group be handled by Pam Berry (The Pines, The Shapiros, Glo Worm, Black Tambourine) and Scott Stevens (Summer Cats, The Earthmen).  And we all are winners, because that's the current iteration of the Australian supergroup, Bart and Friends.

Assembled around Bart Cummings, Bart and Friends' first iteration was around 2000, and released a few records on two different labels.  A second gathering released an EP and a mini album on the Lost and Lonesome label late in the '00s.  The 2012 version, with the membership proposed by our hypothetical winning jangle pop fan above, has recorded one of the EP gems of the year so far, There May Come A Time on Matinee Recordings.

Shimmering, jangling guitars, bright melodies and affecting vocals, this is the motherlode for guitar pop fans.  The only criticism one can have is that it is over very much too soon.

Here is the title track, which already is one of my favorite songs of the year --

I should mention that among the other tracks is an excellent jangly version of Elvis Presley's "Can't Help Falling In Love", two songs from a long sold out earlier Bart and Friends album and to other sweet tunes.  If my computer could develop deeper grooves from excess plays, the section with this EP would look like the Grand Canyon.

Artist's page at Matinee Recordings
Matinee Recordings

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