TITLE: Handsome Western States
YEAR RELEASED: 1997
CHART ACTION: None
SINGLES: I Love John, She Loves Paul
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Nope.
LINEUP: Miles Korusky, Bill Swan, Steve La Follette, Steve St. Cin.
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Lo-fi recordings that caught the ear of Elephant 6 impresario and impressed them enough to put out their records and join their merry group of tuneful troubadours.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Korusky and Swan met in the mail room at their job, and formed a band when they discovered they loved the same kind of music. Why not? Korusky had a great knack for writing pop / rock tunes that were off-kilter but had singable hooks.
The band recorded one song every few weeks, and soon caught the ear of Apples in Stereo founder and Elephant 6 record label owner Robert Schneider. He first released a single, then the full-length album by the at-the-time four piece.
It’s a lo-fi sounding record that reminds you of Guided By Voices a bit (though the clarity IS better than many of their songs) thanks to the melodic nature of the songs. I was drawn to the simple charm of many of the songs, as they loped their way through my head. It’s nothing revolutionary or groundbreaking (except the trumpet played by Swan on occasion is a different touch) but a pleasant experience can be had by all – no matter if you love John, Paul or even Ringo.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: This kept going in and out of print, and each time it was released there was a new cover.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No.
GRADE: B+: A charming lo-fi pop / rock record grounded in hooks and melody..