Sunday, 2 June 2013

Alex Bleeker and the Freaks: How Far Away

Alex Bleeker's debut ep three years ago, These Days, showed that the Real Estate bassist's moonlighting project was at least on terms with his main band. The subsequent album let that promise slide into a pick-up band of mates with no greater aim than jamming after listening to Neil Young's Zuma.

How Far Away, though, takes up These Days' suggestions - Bob Dylan, Teenage Fanclub, The Byrds - and widens the AM radio vibe. Imagine if The Lovin' Spoonful's John Sebastian had taken up the offer to join Crosby, Stills and Nash. Or if Jerry Yester had produced Stephen Stills' solo albums.

The only two contemporary albums from the American underground that have succeeded in carving their own niche out of the 60's US leftfield pop canon and still sounding vital are The Grand Archives' debut and The Mountain Movers' We've Walked in Hell and There Is Life After Death. How Far Away joins them.

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