Super XX Man
Reviewed by Michael Chamy, Fri., Aug. 17, 2001
Super XX Man
Volume V (Post-Parlo)Scott Garred was the schoolboy nerd who walked around the halls with a "kick me" sign on his back. He was the bullies' favorite target. Garred was also the introspective class poet who'd rather read and write quietly, while the other kids ran around outside. Then one day, he got angry about bullies and about life, and started a band called Silver Scooter, writing some unforgettable songs that captured the regret and frustration of the lonely class nerd, caked as they were with volume, distortion, and a rock & roll thump. That was then, and Garred has long since made peace with his demons. His music, both in Silver Scooter and particularly as Super XX Man, is now intentionally understated: soft, gentle, and poetic in that still-nerdy sort of way. Gentle acoustic strumming, slow yet deliberate beats, and bright background keys are the m.o., but it's Garred's lyrical poetry that makes and breaks this collection. The first third of Volume V flies by, smooth as a chocolate malt. "It's a lonely old night, I need you," Garred sings over and over, and we believe him. Then he sings about crying at all-night diners, which will only get you a knuckle sandwich at Star Seeds. Volume V never recovers, as Garred follows up with one sap-drenched first-person journal entry after another. You have to respect his willingness to lay it all on the line, but whole milk does not a whole album make.