With apologies to Mick Ronson, today’s post focuses on a dynamic new release from a guy who hit it out of the park with a long player that came out only last year. Michael Slawter’s 2017 release of An Assassination of Someone You Knew rightfully made a host of year-end ‘best of’ lists. Now he’s back with Last Call for Breaking Hearts and it is another tour de force. Previous comparisons mentioned Mitch Easter and the DBs, but this time around I hear a more straight up pop rock sound that sometimes sounds very crunchy-guitar, reverby vocals a la Matthew Sweet, or late period Marshall Crenshaw in terms of the guitar mix, or Michael Carpenter on the whole package.
The obvious single is the Teenage Fanclub-ish “Summer’s Kind” with its Bryds-meets-Scotland melodic swirl and moody vocals. Though “Free Fall” could vie for the single release, with it’s driving guitar and sweet melody. Of course Slawter might be championing “Coming Around” as the single, given that he’s produced a video for it! Other highlights from the record are many, like the killer hook that threads it’s way throughout “The One (And Only)” or the great guitar hooks sprinkled throughout “Your Sunshine” or the killer combo of hooky chorus and great vocals propelling “We Belong” and “Breathe.” Deep cut fave – “Believe in Me.” This is the one that is really reminiscent of Marshall Crenshaw in places and atmosphere for me – wonderful guitar work and catchy melody.