Tuesday, April 8, 2014

FIRST IMPRESSION: Doug Gillard - Parade On

Indie rock lifer Doug Gillard returns this week with his third (and finest) album, the gorgeously melodic “Parade On”.  Known primarily for his six-string acrobatics with such luminaries as Nada Surf, Cobra Verde and an almost-12-year stint in Guided By Voices, “Parade On” showcases Gillard’s formidable skills as a melodicist.  Opener “Ready for Death” is all 60’s jangle and swoon, and wouldn’t sound out of place on one of the earlier Pernice Brothers records.  Crisply produced and played, this is pop of the best variety – “Angel X” is a dead ringer for late 70’s power pop while album centerpiece “Overseas” rides an almost-motorik groove and when Gillard unleashes all holy-hell at the 2:20 mark on the sublimely-titled “Guitarded”, you’re reminded why Bob Pollard kept him after ditching the short-lived “Mag Earwhig”-era lineup of GBV.  While long on catchy tunes, there is little of this type of guitar fireworks (save the go-for-your-throat “No Perspective”), and while it’s admirable that Gillard focuses so squarely on the tunes, you can’t help but wonder what some of these would have sounded like with one of his trademark skillful, slippery leads thrown in.  Regardless, this grab bag of gems is one to throw on when you need some pep in your step and a smile put upon your face!

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