The Fresh & Onlys – House Of Spirits // Album Review

houseofspiritsMexican Summer – out now

The strength of House of Spirits is also its weakness. San Francisco four-piece Fresh & Onlys have always been a diverse group, flitting from jangly pop to country Americana, underpinned by garage roots, and they certainly cover a conglomeration of styles on this record. There are some stellar songs on here, though. ‘Animal of One’ is an unlikely crowd pleaser, with its smouldering, soaring vocals, brassy riffs, and self-reflective lyrics, and the jangle of ‘April Fools’ cleverly belies the sting of a pretend uttering-of-love in an almost Smiths-esque metallic scuffle. The sinister final track ‘Madness’ is characteristic of the sandy-sounding fuzz from the local scene which surrounded the band during their formation in 2008. “Home is Where?” frontman Tim Cohen asks on the opening track and it feels like that is what was needed on House of Spirits – a still point, and a place for all these flitting spirits to group. It works as a collection of good songs, but as an album?

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BUY: The Fresh & Onlys – House Of Spirits