Rhythm & Views 

Golden Smog

The thing about supergroups is they often are not actually super--they end up sounding like washed-out versions of the groups whose members they contain. Golden Smog, however, manages to avoid this fate, sounding exactly like a blend of its members: Jeff Tweedy from Wilco; Gary Louris and Marc Perlman of the Jayhawks; Kraig Jarret Johnson of Run Westy Run and Dan Murphy of Soul Asylum.

The group's been around since 1992, and has seen a rotating cast of members, but Louris and Johnson are the primary songwriters these days; hence, Another Fine Day (Golden Smog's first release since 1998) has more of a Jayhawks feel. Except, of course, the songs co-written by Tweedy, which sound like Tweedy songs: "Long Time Ago" and "Listen Joe." The title track, though, written by Louris and Murphy, sounds like it could have been an outtake from Wilco's Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, and Murphy's "Hurricane" sounds like what would happen if Tom Petty and Billy Corgan had a band together.

Somehow, though, even with all of these songwriters bringing their own style to the record, all 15 songs of Another Fine Day complement each other. Perlman's sparkling "Cure for This" is followed by "Hurricane," and the Beatles-esque "Frying Pan Eyes" leads to "Gone," the most country-sounding song on this record made by alt.country troubadours. Tweedy's acoustic "Long Time Ago" introduces "Corvette," which sounds, appropriately, like something out of a car commercial. Nothing's washed out here; in fact, there are quite a few songs on Another Fine Day that are just as good as the work the members' bigger bands have done.

More by Annie Holub


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