ANDY STOCHANSKY Five Star Motel (BMG) Rating: NNN Rating: NNN
Erstwhile Ani DiFranco collaborator Andy Stochansky's voice is like the human equivalent of a vibraphone -- ambient and ethereal, mostly mellow, with moments of gut-wrenching intensity. At times he can out-Thom the morose Mister Yorke, which is fitting because Five Star Motel mixes the indie rock immediacy of Pablo Honey with the atmospheric ambition of recent Radiohead stuff. Producer/co-writer Ian LeFeuvre has left his signature all over this disc -- chimey guitars, cleverly detailed instrumental accents that creep up in corners, nifty sonic motifs and lots of layers. The stellar musicianship is enough to make you ignore periodically inane lyrics and the silly stab at mainstream pop-punk,Wonderful (It's Superman). Andy Stochansky checks into the Palais Royale Saturday (October 19).