Jamie & Steve - Sub Textural (Loaded Goat Records 2017)
Although most people know Jamie Hoover and Steve Stoeckel as one-half of the Spongetones, they also record as a duo when not making merry as North Carolina’s noble band. After nearly forty years of performing together, it’s no surprise Jamie and Steve have developed a strong telepathic bond, and the twosome’s amazing chemistry rears its head time and time again here on their latest effort, Sub Textural. Comprised of six tracks, the disc holds steady as a solid testimony to Jamie and Steve’s multiple talents and devotion to the kind of music that has brought them ample accolades the past few decades.
Shimmering and shining with blindingly bright melodies and just enough peculiar twists and turns to stand out from the pack, “Sword Of Love” sounds like a marvelous melding of Squeeze and Chad and Jeremy, and “In A Little Tango” moves to a thick and thudding beat born of crushing rhythms. Hypnotic harmonies resting on the doo-wop side of the street elevate "Cry" to towering heights, and “It’s All Because Of You” shuffles gleefully to dance hall dips and doodles recalling similar pursuits by Paul McCartney and Emitt Rhodes.
Driven by sharply-creased songwriting, creative arrangements and hooky vocals balanced by power and precision, Sub Textural indeed features a diverse demonstration of audio textures, but in the end it’s a cohesive statement of pop that rocks and rock that pops. Take a bow, Jamie and Steve, and keep the great tunes coming!
- Beverly Paterson
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