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Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Record Review - Justin Kline

Cabin Fever Songs

self-released CD / download
Anyone with an undying love of power-pop - the milkshake variety rather than the rum punch - should check out Tennessee’s Justin Kline, if they haven‘t already. I’m in awe of artists able to re-fashion the age-old Beatles/Beach Boys blueprint and hit the (hitherto unknown) cranial G-spot, whilst still retaining some individuality. Only an elite are capable of pulling it off without descending into pastiche, and Kline is in that pack, along with the likes of Mike Viola and Linus of Hollywood.

With several albums and EPs already under his skinny belt - he’s previously traded under the names In Clover, Sleepy River and Heartstring Band - Kline‘s latest was apparently written and recorded entirely at home, using whatever basic gear he had lying around, following some kind of nervous breakdown. Judging from the lyrical bitterness on display, I’d guess it was precipitated by some lady trouble. The music, however, offsets his gloom with its sunny sweetness.

'Nighttime Girl', 'Your Mystery' and 'Carol Lynn' - a country-pop gem that Nilsson wouldn’t have turned his nose up at - are all particularly gorgeous. Meanwhile, it’s surprising someone hasn’t already written a song called 'Sunday Night Blues' (about the dreaded Sunday Depression as it's known in our house).

Chris Twomey

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