Album Details

RELEASE
1998
LABEL
Buy Or Die Records
GENRES
Pop/Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock

Album Review

Who would ever think of combining a psychedelic framework with a roots-rock sensibility? But Flint Michigan do just that on their debut album, playing music that is oxymoronically both earthy and cosmically expansive, often in the same song! Mash up the Byrds, Lou Reed, Neil Young, the Band, Tom Petty, Midnight Oil, and zydeco, cross-reference them with the dynamics of psychedelia, and you come out with Amber Waves. Odds are, this album would probably go into the roots-rock bin at the record store, but how many roots albums contain a song about space aliens? With Flint Michigan, such a dichotomy is commonplace; it is the type of whimsy that is pulled off with humor but also adds a certain poignancy to the album. Perhaps the band's rootsiest element is the vocal prowess of Dennis Katsanis, a sort of variation on the Tom Petty/Lou Reed aesthetic that works surprisingly well amid the spacy qualities of much of the music. "Passion" opens with a lost new-wave riff circa 1982, but mutates into a beautiful psychedelic jam. Extended improvisation is a part of the Flint Michigan repertoire, but it is rarely excessive or detrimental to the song. "Misdeed of the Wind" starts out with a solid groove before moving into gorgeous Middle Eastern guitar progressions. Part of the reason that these extended passages do not come apart is the straight-ahead chug of the rhythm section and Tom DiPaolo's lap steel guitar work -- sort of like Dire Straits riffing on psychedelia rather than jazz and blues. Instrumentally, the band is powerful, led by the double-guitar attack of Jim Asherman and Katsanis. Mostly recorded live in the studio with few overdubs, the album sounds fresh and invigorating. The only thing holding the album back is its thematic and stylistic spottiness: it moves from zydeco-flavored jams to earthy rock to nervy psychedelia without any sort of coherence. It ends up sounding more like a collection of singles than a consistent album. Still, the songs, taken on their own merits, are never less than strong -- and sometimes go much beyond that.
Stanton Swihart, Rovi

Track Listing

  1. Space Aliens
  2. Moon over Texas
  3. Passion
  4. Misdeeds of the Wind
  5. Bayou Dreams
  6. Mardi Gras Fire
  7. The Change
  8. Eastern Double Standard Time
  9. Aluminum Foil
  10. Prelude to Romantic Warfare (First Bite)
  11. The Gravity Song
  12. Fell Too Far
  13. Lock of Your Hair