Homebrew | MUSIC: Homebrew | Indy Week

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Wigg Report singer/guitarist Stephen Mullaney moved to the Triangle from Boston where he'd been playing in bands for years. It might explain their resemblance to early-'90s Boston band Small Factory. Like that seminal twee act, the Durham trio combine a ramshackle innocence, lo-fi charm and guitar jangle aplenty. The jumpy rhythms and delicious hooks are abetted by the wonderfully complementary sax/clarinet play of one-time Beulah member Ben Riseling. Also like Small Factory, the vocals can tend to be a tad tuneless and something of an acquired taste, but the weary delivery contributes to the sad, ambivalent and almost beaten tone of the songs.

Riseling deserves special notice for his tasteful playing, adding a lot of the color to the otherwise basic guitar-drums attack that is often a highlight of the songs. This is important because the songs have a tendency to blend together across the album. Still, for anyone who loves the music of Wedding Present, Talulah Gosh or Beat Happening, this album will be a revelation.

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