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Shmat's Reviews
For more reviews, please visit Palebear which is where all future Shmat reviews will appear (as of March 2006).

Tom Thumb
... Songs From Holiday (CD)

For some reason, I was expecting some sort of classic rock with this Tom Thumb album ...Songs From Holiday. I think it's just the name or something that feels like it should be bloated rock. Instead, I was treated to some really nice pseudo acoustic folk numbers. As a songwriter Tom Thumb, alias Andy Arch, certainly knows the ins and outs of making a tune stick in your mind. Compact tunes with great melodies are his strength and these songs should please many an indie pop-folkster.

I can't really make up my mind who Arch sounds like. The first thing I thought of from his yearning and nearly slurring voice on the opening track "Moonshine" was that he sure sounded like Tim Booth (late of the band James). However, on "Boot Camps" I seemed to hear more of Colin of the Decemberists and actually the music seemed to fit that description as well. On other tracks, I don't hear any of those mentioned singers. Maybe this is a good thing, not being able to nail down his voice. Because every singer wants to have a somewhat original voice, right?

My favorite track was the poppy "Wine & Cigarettes" with its fine layered harmonies and thumpy drums... the beginning of this track sounded like mid period Belle and Sebastian. I also liked crusty country feel of "Gracie's Mine" along with its handclaps and pans a clankin'. With the slower "Time's Arrow" I sort of see where the occasional Oldham / Springsteen comparison might come from, as mentioned in his bio.

In general, I think this Tom Thumb guy has got a pretty strong command of the intermeshing of vocal and acoustic guitar. And if he reminds me of various singers every so often, no big deal. It's those great songs that count after all.

- review by SHORTY (7.21.05)        

Tom Thumb

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