New and Notable Releases

PLUSH Fed (After Hours) Rating: NNN Rating: NNN

A post-post-rock Pet Sounds? Ambitious? Perhaps. Audacious? Definitely. And just preposterous enough for Liam Hayes, Chicago’s own bedroom Brian Wilson, to pursue as a Plush project. So mammoth orchestrations were sketched out, and various string, brass and woodwind sections were summoned to Electrical Sound for a series of meticulously plotted analog recording sessions. Five recording engineers and a whopping studio bill later, Fed has just been released on the obscure Japanese After Hours label, as if to satisfy both the impossible-to-obtain and poor-initial-sales conditions for instant cult classic status. The pizzicato movements and grand flourishes make it sound like Hayes got his money’s worth. Yet he’s not quite the maestro he believes himself to be. His fragile little songs collapse under the weight of the belaboured arrangements. Hey, nice try, though.

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