Melba Toast, Melba Toast

Melba Toast, Melba Toast

The resurgence of Nirvana-tinged roots rock is alive and well in Greenville, TX. Melba Toast’s self-titled debut brings heaps and heaps of grunged-out guitars and sometimes sweet, sometimes heavy-handed lyrics that appeal to the lovelorn and lonely — think Mudhoney meets Kings of Leon. And it’s nice to hear while sittin’ on the back porch swing, basking in the sunshine next to a koozie-covered Pabst Blue Ribbon (the band’s beer of choice).

Lead singer Adam (couldn’t find his last name) summons Pavement on “Humdrum,” clearly the strongest track on the album, when he sings, “Passing through these days with a cynical flavor / I’m well aware that it’s kind of hard to make nice.” A more concise encapsulation of the entire album could not be said than that. There are ten songs, all of which revolve around the idea that love and friends are hard to find. Simple enough, yes? But it’s in this simplicity that Melba Toast finds its beauty. And it is beautiful. The lyrics are simple, the beats even more so, and the listenability is apparent from the first song, “Check Your Head,” to the last, “Lucky Day to Lose.” And Melba Toast’s influences are vast. “Strikes and Gutters” sounds like we’re stuck in the year 1994 (not a bad year in which to be stuck, I dare say) and Nirvana ruled MTV’s Unplugged set, while “Icy Sleep” sounds as if J. Mascis never left the comfort of the four-track.

The songs go together well, and though Melba Toast is about a decade and a half too late, they’ve successfully brought 1990s Seattle to Texas.

(BLABJAC Records; Melba Toast --

Review by . Review posted Wednesday, July 30th, 2008. Filed under Reviews.

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