John Wesley Coleman III "Alone By The Door"
The water in Austin, Texas must have something special in it, because some of the best rock 'n' roll records on the planet have been coming from there lately. Stellar hardcore from the Creamers, genre-bending (and mind-bending) punk and roll from the OBN III's, as well as OBN III's front man Orville Neely's Ramones-tinged side project, Bad Sports. And don't forget the Golden Boys, Austin's long-running scruffy super group, which has released several long players over the past few years, most recently the incredible "Dirty Fingernails" from 12XU Records. Golden Boys front man John Wesley Coleman also has an impressive solo career under his own name. If you haven't heard his two long-players from Goner Records, by all means seek them out. Not content to dish out easily definable music, Coleman paints from a diverse sonic palette that draws influences from country, punk, folk and straight ahead pop. His most recent single is fromSophomore Lounge records and is limited to 200 copies, which makes it a guaranteed collector's item. While I think these super limited, barely attainable pressings that have been coming out from labels like Total Punk and Suicide Squeeze are kind of irritating, we can forgive the good folks at Sophomore Lounge because this platter is one heart achingly beautiful slice of pop. The two cuts, "Along By the Door," and "I Want You to Be Like Everybody Else" are perhaps Coleman's mellowest and ambitious recordings to date. Softer and less jokey than his most recent full-length from Goner, "The Last Donkey Show," the music floats like summer clouds, buoyed by a mix of piano, guitar, bowed bass and even Theremin. The songs are sad and melancholy, but there's also a brightness to them, a crisp naturalness, like fresh laundry drying on a line in the sun. It's not too late to snag a copy, either. Take a listen here.