Share SEEMINGLY SOLID REALITY - Outrageous Cherry (Alive Natural Sound)
These guys are veterans and they know their way around rock and roll's numerous highways and byways. For example, standout track "Fell" is what Brian Wilson would have sounded like if if his handlers had replaced the living room sandbox with a truckload of scrap metal. Outrageous Cherry understand what's gone before but what they appropriate, they make their own.

"Gritty psychedelic rock meets pop" falls short as a descriptor for this droney Detroit combo, which has been kicking around for six albums and the best part of 20 years. The constants are vocalist-guitarist-organist Mathew Smith and guitarist Larry Ray. Smith should be familiar - he's played with everyone from Andre Williams to Simon Bonney and The Go. The songs are all his, too.

Just like its main man's c.v., Outrageous Cherry runs the gamut. From the Moe Tucker rhythm and meth-head guitar searing that runs through "Self Made Monster" to the distant dissonant pop of "Unamerican Girls", this is a album of marked and dark contrasts. It's psych that's soft and fuzzy around the edges but if you bite hard enough you'll feel the solid core. There are shades of late '60s British fringe pop, too.

And there are some majorly great moments. Glam handclaps and backward-masked guitars impart the correct degree of weirdness to "Unbalanced In The City" to rub against the pop quirkiness of Smith's droll but tuneful vocal. As much as many of their songs resemble the Beach Boys on downers ("My Ghetto" being a prime example), Outrageous Cherry has a pop backwash propelling their surfboard down the deserted streets of the wased=out parts of their hometown.

The production is unassuming and distinctly retro. Dry drums, rumbling bass and threads of guitar woven into the mix or suddenly breaking through into light. It's uncredited save for engineer Jason Fisher but odds are that Matthew Smith lightly applied a steering hand.

Listening to "Seemingly Solid Reality" is like sinking in a muddy lake where you can't see the bottom but you know it's there. Keep paddling and cling to the next song. - The Barman

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