These days we're utterly awash in music from all sides — terrestrial and satellite radio, iPods, MP3 blogs, TV ads, and on and on. This raging torrent of sound, this outrageous clatter of ambient hum, spans the quality spectrum from sublime to awful, and yet it seems harder than ever to find artists of any caliber that can write great songs. Anders Parker, once the guiding force behind the vastly underrated '90s indie-rock/alt-country act Varnaline, belongs to that tiny minority. His twang-tinged, wood-grained Crazy Horse-meets-Replacements tunes have order, texture, structure, hummable melodies and that increasingly hard-to-find commodity, a dynamic sense of mood. Parker's riveting, precise songs slice through the trendy, blog-flogged hipster crap that clutters all our iPods like an icebreaker ship knifing its way through slushy sea ice. Check out "Come on Now," "Don't Worry Honey, Everything's Gonna Be Alright" and Varnaline classic "Blackbird Fields," and see if you don't agree.
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