Michigan’s Fred Thomas finally released a solo effort in early 2002, after spending years as the man behind such influential bands as Lovesick, Flashpapr, and Saturday Looks Good to Me. The result is a stunning, acoustic-based 12-song album. The same heartaching vocals that make Flashpapr so powerful echo blissfully on the opening track, “Second Hand News.” A folky strum holds together the second track, “Rumor.” The fourth and seventh tracks, the rollicking “This Could Be the Year” and “They Replace Your Heart,” are two of the disc’s liveliest songs. On track five, Thomas offers a bittersweet cover of the Brian Wilson song “Don’t Worry.” The sincere yearning of “First Star” closes with an extended harmonica line. Track nine is a subdued cover of Warn Defever’s “Do You Want to Come to My Party?” It would be a stretch for most of the songs on Everything Is Pretty Much Totally Fucked Up to appear on any of Thomas’ other band’s recordings. “Last One to Leave” is restrained, but in a different way than Flashpapr. “When You Fuck Things Up With Your Baby” is a rousing rocker, but slightly different than the traditional Saturday Looks Good to Me sound. The disc ends with “Hearts Dancing,” an ideal summer campfire song. It might hint at Thomas’ future as a folk singer, after having already paid his dues in a punk band, a slow-core band, a new new wave band. Guest musicians on the disc include Juan Garcia (ex-Cornish in a Turtleneck) on banjo and tambourine, Nate Cavalieri of Judah Johnson on vibraphone, and Tony Cavallario on acoustic guitar. The CD was released on Michigan’s Little Hands Records. – Stephen Cramermore »
Second Hand News
This Could be the Year
Up All Night
They Replace Your Heart
So You Want to Come to My Party?
Last One to Leave
When You Fuck Things Up With Your Baby