Another Fine Day

After an eight-year period of inactivity, the group Golden Smog has released a fine set of fifteen songs, both full-on rockers and slower, more rootsy numbers.

Golden Smog is a supergroup of sorts featuring a number of notables from Midwestern and Minneapolis rock and alt-country musicians, including Dan Murphy of Soul Asylum, Jeff Tweedy of Wilco, and members of The Jayhawks including Gary Louris, Marc Perlman, and Kraig Johnson. The group formed in the early '90s and has now released three albums over the past eleven years.

The album kicks off with the rocking number "You Make It Easy," which starts off with Gary Louris pounding out a descending piano pattern under love song lyrics and then eventually transforms into Louris and Dan Murphy intertwining electric guitar leads like classic rock guitar heroes. Other rockers include "Corvette," a song that unwinds like a lost gem from a '70s power-pop band, sounding like an overdriven version of The Kings or The Only Ones. The album's title cut is a cacophonous brew of sweet harmonies and drum-banging feedback.

On the more rootsy side of the spectrum is the Wilco-esque "I Can" and "Think For Yourself," a track which is a very familiar sound to Jayhawks fans. Jeff Tweedy's gentle "Long Time Ago" is a particular quiet gem.

For fans of any of the participating musicians, or their main bands, Golden Smog is always required listening, and Another Fine Day is even more so.

Mike Sauter, WYEP Music Director