Tris McCall - Shootout At The Sugar Factory
With Shootout At The Sugar Factory, the militantly pro-Jersey Tris McCall has made one of the strangest and most beguiling indie records of the year. North Jersey's favorite son offers "ten musical impressions of Hudson County," and each one is smile-inducing power pop from the Scott Miller school thereof--no shock, since Miller produced Tris' last record. "A Commuter's Prayer" is a painfully realistic sketch of life in the NYC area post-9/11. "Every night I walk out to the Palisade/Just to check on the city and make sure it's ok," McCall sings, managing to make civic pride and responsibility sound like the punkest thing to come along since spitting on people. While the keyboard-heavy arrangements recall Missing Persons and Berlin at times, it also sounds like there is a closet prog-rock fan hidden in there somewhere, especially on album opener "Scatter My Ashes On The New Jersey Turnpike." A major album from a major D.I.Y. talent.
YEAH YEAH YEAH, 2003