Reviewed by Austin Powell, Fri., June 25, 2010
Ever since he adopted the moniker Leatherbag, Randy Reynolds has drawn Dylan comparisons for his raspy delivery and Blonde on Blonde-era poeticism. The most striking similarity is his ability to change directions, from the serene folk narratives of 2006's So Long, Sweethearts and Love Me Like the Devil to his No Bridges to Cross collaboration and experimental noise side project Diamondhead. Here on Hey Day, the prolific local songsmith and producer settles into a groove, expanding on the classic power-pop and New Sincerity realism of last year's Everything I Once Knew and Tomorrow EPs in the wake of his expansive 2008 breakthrough Love & Harm. Guitar anthem "Forever Blue" eulogizes Alex Chilton, while the refined quartet tears into "Lines" like Crazy Horse at the Fillmore East, and "Senseless Irony" offers up a straight shot of rock. The newly married Reynolds also crafts some of his finest ballads to date in the piano soul of "Honestly," lullaby turned rave-up "Go to Sleep," and 1960s pop sparkle of "Nothing Wrong With Love," though there's some timidity to the overall execution, and the sequencing needs work.