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Sam Coomes: Bugger Me [Slipcase]

Track List

>Stride On
>Tough Times in Plastic Land/Everybody Loves a War
>Shined It On/Lobotomy Eggs
>Tucchus, Pt. 1, The
>Cruisin' Thru/Just Like the Rest
>Corpse Rider
>Tucchus, Pt. 2, The
>Bugger Me

Album Notes

A veteran of the U.S. underground scene since the 1980s, Sam Coomes is probably best known as one-half of the Portland, Oregon-based indie rock unit Quasi -- drummer and ex-wife Janet Weiss (Sleater-Kinney) completed the duo. Having also worked with Elliott Smith, Built to Spill, and Jandek, Coomes' versatility has never been in question, and Bugger Me, his first outing under his own name, should do little to tarnish that reputation. Built on a shifty foundation of Krautrock, noise, electro-vaudeville, and lounge-psych, Bugger Me is a left-field record to be sure, but Coomes possesses enough pop acumen to bring in more than just pasty insiders. Largely organ-and-drum-machine-based, the nine-track set falls somewhere between ? & the Mysterians, Bruce Haack, and the more experimental works of the Flaming Lips, with Coomes dealing out equal parts quirk and unease via surreal lyrics, jarring sound effects, and occasional blasts of nervy melodic bliss. More of a snapshot into the creative process than a cohesive album, Bugger Me works best when it stumbles into a groove -- "Stride On," "Corpse Rider," "Bugger Me" -- and begins to slowly deconstruct it. It's not always an easy listen, but there's more than a little voodoo at play -- the near-constant carnival-esque atmosphere helps to reign in some the album's goofier moments. Coomes knows he's not for everyone, and that lack of self-consciousness is one of the album's biggest strengths, but listeners with short attention spans and a low tolerance for eccentricity might want to stick with a more commercial brand of sonic weirdness. ~ James Christopher Monger


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