The Fresh & Onlys
House Of Spirits - MEXICAN SUMMER
FILTER Grade: 75%
By Christian Koons on June 12, 2014
The Fresh & Onlys don’t like to stay put, and with House of Spirits, their fifth album in as many years—and on almost as many labels—this is certainly the case, perhaps to a fault. The album’s first single “Bells of Paonia,” a melodically-driven meditation of distortion and a thumping kick drum that borders on shoegaze, is followed by the brooding western twang of “Animal of One,” which would be right at home accompanying the opening credits of a Tarantino film. The transition is a bit jarring. Singer Tim Cohen’s honest, no-frills vocals lend these songs some sense of togetherness, and Wymond Miles’s imaginative guitar work is often enough to cover a multitude of sins (see the scorching lead on “Hummingbird” and the minimal flourishes on “April Fools”). For some listeners that will be enough, but overall the record feels structured more like a career-spanning live set than a cohesive collection.