Parker Longbough — Commander Comatose

Reviewed by aarik

There is no shortage of creativity on the debut album from Anchorage, Alaska's Parker Longbough. The singer-songwriter (Longbough's real name is Matthew Witthoeft) transmits a multi-textured sound which incorporates elements of lo-fi indie rock, folk, and electronica into a blend reminiscent at times of Ben Kweller or the mellower side of Beck. Longbough and his supporting cast of players exhibit a tendency toward relaxed tempos/arrangements, hazy vocals and the slightest tweaking of sounds and other basic musical elements; all of which allow Longbough to sound a bit more experimental than your average lo-fi or folk artist. On tracks like "Swimming in My Mind", "Half a Life" and "Songwriter Leaving Pt. 1", Longbough's intentions are communicated swimmingly, each track packed with a promising energy.

But these successes are marred by tracks like "Expatriate", "Brodawg Deal" and "3 Drunken Days" which are sloppier, less tuneful and honestly, a bit difficult to listen to at times. Commander Comatose also suffers from lyrics which often seem as if they were written in a high school English class, or, in the case of "I Was Wrong", written about high school itself. There's no denying that Longbough does have a great deal of potential, however, it remains to be seen if future expressions of his vision can result in a more consistent and cohesive product.

Jun 13 2007