March 05, 2006

White Mud Free Way - Last Year's Junk

This album has a personally interesting story behind it. Jesse Jeffers and I were at our local record store staring at the indie music section. We were both in the money that day, so we decided to close our eyes and purchase the first album we grabbed. My hands fell on White Mud Free Way. At first I didn’t even care, it was just an album to experiment with when I had the time. Now, I recommend it with true sincerity as one of the most entirely enjoyable albums I own. Never overbearing, Last Years Junk is 10 songs of serene pleasure. Whether the band is just doing the acoustic thing, or bringing the whole band in, the sound is simply astounding. Simple being the key word, because there are no bigheaded sound effects, just catchy, uncomplicated music. Terence Bernardo and Mari Solivan were crashing a university cocktail party when they met, sharing interests and musical interests. Later in Terence’s lackluster studio (also known as his basement), the two of them learned by trial and error the works of recording, writing the songs as they went along. The result is one hell of a charming album. It’s hard to give you an idea of what you’d be getting yourself into, but I’m gonna give it a shot. It sounds like Beck, Conor Oberst, and Norah Jones (minus the piano), chilling in an apartment with a guitar, a keyboard, and a drum kit experimenting to find a common ground. With songs like "Bar Code", "Headless Body in a Topless Bar", and "Mercury" it's hard to not picture them becoming one brilliant, artistic band. Last Years Junk is WMFW's debut. Debuts come and go, but I can think of very few groups whose second album I have wanted to hear as much as I want to hear White Mud Free Way's. I don't remember what album it was that Jesse purchased, but I'm pretty sure I had the better luck that day (don't feel bad for him, he got this album for Christmas).

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