Agony Aunts – Big Cinnamon (2013)

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Inhaling fumes from sources such as the Beach Boys, Fountains of Wayne, Peppermint Rainbow, XTC, the Fifth Dimension, Apples In Stereo, psychedelic era Beatles and the Strawberry Alarm Clock, and translating them into their own novel notions, Agony Aunts has given birth to an album flowering with pop pleasures.

Actually a side project for the widely praised Corner Laughers, which features KC Bowman, Karla Kane, Khoi Huynh and Charlie Crabtree, the band further gets a little help from their friends here on their dynamic debut album, as Allen Clapp of the Orange Peels, Anton Barbeau from Three Minute Tease and Gil Ray, who played with Game Theory and the Loud Family, make guest appearances.

Bulging at the stitches with larger than life harmonies, skillfully-chiseled arrangements and more hooks than a clothing store, Big Cinnamon (Mystery Lawn Records) steers the listener through a loopy labyrinth of nonstop action and adventure.

Marked by needling breaks and seizing energy, the catchy “We Got The Jekyll” holds heavy as one of the many marvels presented on the disc, along with “Twenty-Four Mergansers,” which sweeps and shimmers to a sparkling oasis of springy rhythms and absolutely beautiful vocals.

A raw-and-ragged country edge is injected to “Trouble Was Born” and “You’re So Vague” ably combines tongue-in-cheek schlock rock moves with a cool old-school soul sound.

Strains of paisley powered pop continually arise amid the grooves of Big Cinnamon, providing the record with both a fun and surrealistic ambience. Gushing with ambition and varied moods, the album still smacks of a free-spirited tone, resulting in a swinging set of songs begging for multiple servings.

I really hope Big Cinnamon isn’t simply a fly-by-night gig, because Agony Aunts truly have the goods to keep doing what they’re doing!

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Beverly Paterson

Beverly Paterson

Beverly Paterson was born the day Ben E. King hit No. 4 with "Stand By Me" -- which is actually one of her favorite songs, especially John Lennon's version. She's contributed to Lance Monthly and Amplifier, and served as Rock Beat International's associate editor. Paterson has also published Inside Out, and Twist & Shake. Contact Something Else! at [email protected]
Beverly Paterson
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