Terry Eason

Terry Eason
The Sun Also Says Howdy
Reticulated

THIS RECORD WOULD make most Guitar World elitists seethe at the amount of talent being squandered on such "lo-fi" presentation. But Terry Eason has already revealed his pop chops as guitarist for Dylan Hicks, mastered art-rock technique with Rhea Valentine, and proven his own songwriting and studio smarts on Shooting Time, the underheard 1995 effort by his defunct Ultrasonics. So he's definitely earned the right to get self-indulgent with a solo home recording. Eschewing perfectionism for drum-machine mayhem, Eason plays nearly every instrument on The Sun Also Says Howdy, where freedom from studio and band restraints expands his ambitions.

Eason's conspicuously faulty recording gear has obvious drawbacks, like the unintelligible quality of most of the lyrics. On the other hand, it allows for a warm, one-take psychedelic atmosphere, such as when the shifting tape speed pleasantly distorts and bends the 12-string chords on the anthemic "Sometime This Century." But Eason's ease with genre-hopping is most impressive, beginning with "Here Comes the Hero," an over-the-top Rick Wakeman tribute/parody that sounds like it was recorded live in 1975 and works surprisingly well as a rocker. It's soon followed by "Living Proof," on which Eason becomes the Glimmer Twins incarnate; and "Politics As Usual," which could be grafted from an ancient Replacements bootleg. And the Eno-ish "Tarkrons Workshop" samples an interview with a woman from an extraterrestrial cult (paging Heaven's Gate...). This solo record is an intriguing set of homemade diversions, and if Eason can figure out how to pull together everything he's done so far, he's got a masterwork ahead of him.

 
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