Meadowlark Valley – One Morning
Oh, well, since we’re a website that includes the word alternative in its title, we are practically conditioned to admire the musicians that seem to go out of their way to avoid the trappings of success and fame. But, oh gosh, JJ Schrick is doing a beautiful way of doing just that.
It is true that One Morning sounds as pure the dew and includes some moments of pure sonic elation. But, only if he’d taken a few hints from those Lumineers and included some more Heys and Hos into his indie-folk, he would surely get to soundtrack a Prius commercial.
Instead, Meadowlark Valley is born out of genuine appreciation with the soul-searching of folk and its beautifully layered melodies. And, One Morning is no bore either. Watch out for the moment that the song reaches a dizzied psychedelic-rock zenith. It’s the work of a man no afraid of a few dents and bruises in his search of the truth.
Ugly Smile – Good Intentions
We all change, and the best that we can hope for is that we’ll accumulate some wisdom along the way. The music, the fashion, and everything else meant to decorate the world changes as well. Why, during the early part of the 1990s, the Smashing Pumpkins were the royals of the alt-rock world, and their music possessed incredibly malevolent intensity.
Fast forward a few years, and Billy Corgan, having experimented with most forms of music, is happy to take the Pumpkins to danceable, psychedelic, and even spiritual territories. The moral of the story is never to assume your villains, not even in rock n’ roll, to remain consistent.
Ugly Smile, a very hard-working U.S. alt-rock group, seems to have been greatly inspired by the alternative rock of bands like Corgan’s. Much like them, their music has gone into more melodic and well-meaning territory. Good Intentions is a pretty, yet insecure love admission. Sometimes we grow up, grow softer, but it all works out.