Twang Twang Shock-a-Boom
Reviewed by Raoul Hernandez, Fri., Feb. 26, 2010
Twang Twang Shock-a-BoomMe So Twangy 20th Anniversary Edition
The Feelies debut Crazy Rhythms isn't the only recent reissue bottling a one-of-a-kind infectiousness. A decade after the Jersey quartet's caffeinated indie tap dance, this trio of University of Texas students bowed with its own rhythmic manifesto. Recorded and mixed in one day, 1990's Me So Twangy percolated a Beat energy and lyrical emotiveness set to a Buddy Holly-esque skitter. Earnest, intimate, exuberant – unplugged – the celebrated campus triumvirate of David Garza ("songs, vocals, geétar"), Jeff Haley ("big ol' bullfiddle"), and drummer Chris Searles lived up to its name: Twang Twang Shock-a-Boom. A couple of decades later, sans bonus materials same as Crazy Rhythms, this endearing earwig finally makes the leap from self-released cassette to another soon extinct format, CD. Beginning with the sundress bounce of kinetic opener "Always Give Your Love Away," Me So Twangy marries Garza's "Subterranean Homesick Blues" stream of supplication to Searles' equally irresistible hyperkinesis – doubled by Haley's bump. The euphoric languor of Garza's "While My Hair Grows Long" exudes a heartfelt wistfulness straight out of peak Paul There Goes Rhymin' Simon, while the drummer's bongos power the frontman's habit-forming "Nicotine Queen." The main feast serves up "Fishsticks," a masterpiece of steely throb and rhythm with a hook the size of El Paso. Magnetic poles: gorgeous João Gilberto-tinged meditation ("Quiet") and simple strummy pledge ("It's No Secret"). Dig it.