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Couch Songs

Peter Searcy

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Album Review

Three years after his first solo album, former Squirrel Bait frontman Peter Searcy is back with another set of introspective, acoustic-based singer/songwriter fare. Searcy is often compared both to Hüsker Dü's Bob Mould and the Lemonheads' Evan Dando, but on Couch Songs his sound is really more pre-punk than post-punk. Here he plays all the instruments (which include guitar, piano, mandolin, cello, and percussion) himself and sings all the parts; this gives the songs a certain immediacy and haunting intimacy, but for the most part they draw you in and then leave you unsatisfied. "Rewind" is a subtle, lovely, and gently heartbroken ballad of romantic regret, and on "Spinning" the combination of an unpretentious string arrangement and a hooky but even less pretentious melody works beautifully. Most of the rest of the program, though, either plods along depressingly or meanders aimlessly. This is the problem with one-man shows: without someone else in the studio to call you on it when you get too self-indulgent, the temptation to lapse into solipsistic wankery can be hard to resist. Not bad, but not great.

Biography

Born: Louisville, KY

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Best known as the frontman of cult favorite teen punk combo Squirrel Bait, singer/songwriter Peter Searcy was born and raised in Louisville, KY, where as a child he studied cello and violin. Profoundly influenced by the music of Hüsker Dü and Minor Threat, in 1984 he co-founded Squirrel Bait with guitarists David Grubbs and Brian McMahan, bassist Clark Johnson, and drummer Britt Walford; despite an average age of 15, the group soon landed a contract with indie label Homestead, issuing their self-titled...
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Couch Songs, Peter Searcy
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