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  Dog Eared
Artist: Cerveris 
Label: Low Heat Records
Length: 10/53:04

Cerveris is a perfect example of someone (Michael Cerveris) who can listen to the music of his lifetime, pull influences and sounds from various generations and genres, and have them work seamlessly together to make an entirely new sound that works.  Many say there are no classifications to apply to music any more, that the mixture of sounds has led to a confusing problem for those who must categorize things.  Cerveris will do very little to allay this problem.

“Crosshill” is a laid back acoustic number in the manner of Neil Young Americana.  “SPCA,” on the other hand, is a fuzzy guitar driven piece that much more resembles the Pixies.  Other tunes show '80’s new wave influence (vocally, Cerveris evokes Daniel Ash of Love and Rockets), and '90’s think rockers like Grant Lee Buffalo.  “Golden” is a radio friendly piece a la Coldplay.

Cerveris is mainly a one man show, but the plethora of talented guests rounds Dog Eared out nicely.  Norman Blake (Teenage Fanclub) add guitar and vocals, Laura Cantrell sings on “Two Seconds,” and Ken Stringfellow (Posies, Big Star, formerly REM) plays guitar, bass, and sings on almost every track. Kevin March of Guided by Voices drums on one tune, and Steve Shelley (Sonic Youth) does on four others.  Several others with connections to such bands as They Might Be Giants, Varnaline, and Psychedelic Furs are here as well. As the former lead for Retriever, Cerveris made some connections in the business and it obviously pays off here.

Dog Eared is the type of disc that may live up to its title ­ packaged in digipak, it could be very well end up getting beat up from repeated removals from my CD rack.

Brian A. Smith
9 January 2005



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