Reviewed by Raoul Hernandez, Fri., Aug. 9, 2002
Kevin McKinneyMcVein in Green (Shat) With "all sounds & selections by Kevin McKinney," recorded in part at the sole hat man's own Shatcave, McVein in Green is no one-man operation. K. McVein is credited as engineer, abuse was Bucky Tennison, and Conrad Choucroun took care of French translation. Digital Audio Monkey came courtesy of Russ C. Smith. It's opener "Rot With You" and its Todd Rundgrenesque pastoral pop warmth ("on the other side of the sunset, I could almost see you laughing") that turns heads, however. The compact groovy of "Tornadic" and "$5 Man," all upstroke riffing, rattle trap percussion, and McKinney's jive minstrel vocals give way to the loping sunny daydream of "Goodbye," a lovin' spoonful of John Sebastian. Just before things get too summer-of-love, a familiar Soulhat burst propels "Killers, Thieves & Conmen" on roiling basslines and drumming, while guitars phatten and peal. The lazy glow of "T.V. Factory" recalls a Sixth Street rerun of McKinney/ Schneider/Pike from a decade back. So do the snoozing "City People," "Shame," and generic "Lovesong #17." The Nintendo funk of "I'm No Rapper" ("... but there's a snapper in my crapper") could only be one person, though. An Austin institution whose first disc under his own name is a modest yet sturdy addition to a beloved local cottage industry.