Devon Williams, who'll take the Larimer stage following Myse, Ellison Park and the May Kit, is best known for his time in Osker, a punk band that released two full-lengths on the Epitaph label. But Carefree, a splendid new solo album issued by Ba Da Bing Records, is hardly a three-chord riff-o-rama. Songs such as "Please Be Patient" and "A Truce" look back to the Wall of Sound era via rich string treatments, elaborate arrangements, and melodies so vivid that they might as well be in Technicolor. As for the danger of throwback predictability, Carefree avoids it in part because of its production, which feels simple, straightforward and homemade, not slicked up and embalmed. However, an even bigger factor is Williams's voice, which doesn't always hit the right note on the first try but makes the search so satisfying that it hardly matters. In that way — and only in that way — he maintains a link to his punk past.
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