Friday, June 5, 2015

The Treasures of Mexico - Holding Pattern

As much as we would like to do so as fans, we can't will The Dentists back into existence.  But we have some excellent news for fans of that beloved '90s UK band -- The Treasures of Mexico are here.  The band includes former members of The Dentists Mark Matthews and Bob Collins, with the timekeeping duties handled by Russ Baxter.  Keeping the various projects of inveterate songwriters Matthews and Collins would take more time than I have, but to keep things straight, the 13 tracks on Holding Pattern are "Mark songs"  ("Bob songs" will be coming on the Bob Collins & the Full Nelson album coming soon), and the album started as a solo project.  Having invited Bob and Russ to join him, The Treasures of Mexico offer you the sort of delightful pop gems that underscore the second word in the band's name.  The songs are direct, melodic and energetic, the lyrics and themes well developed, and the performances are tight.  While the songs reflect adult concerns and a bit of a mature perspective, the songs remain bright and vital.  Depending on the song, listeners likely will find similarities to work by The Dentists, The Feelies, The Go-Betweens and The Wolfhounds.  And that range of references is deliberately broad, because Holding Pattern doesn't mine a single groove.  Some songs feature an aggressive pace and buzzing, crunchy guitars (e.g. "Dependence Day" and "Falling Over", and some songs feature jangling guitars dancing over a relaxed rhythm.  My favorite tracks at this point are "Holding Pattern", "Dependence Day", "Let's Start At The Beginning", "Tiny Lies", and "Stars".  You can sample a couple of those songs below.

Consider this album the shaggy dog that followed you home.  You didn't expect it, but you are happy it is here and want it to stay.

Holding Pattern is out now as a digital release from Shelflife Records.

Shelflife Records page for release

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