Memphis songwriter Rich Crook used to be in the Reatards, and Lover!, his latest outfit, reflects a bit of that group's synthesis of electronic music and rock. But with Lover!, it sounds like Crook and company have learned a great deal from Scottish power pop, '60s psych-garage and Big Star. The pop songcraft of the band is impeccable, even though it clearly embraces frayed edges of sound and sonic imperfection as an aesthetic on its recorded output. With a brazen lo-fi approach that borders the territory of Siltbreeze acts, Lover! puts out an infectious energy that recalls vintage-era Elephant 6 in terms of tone and sheer exuberance. A bit like Donovan's trippy era laced with heavy doses of speed, Lover!'s music may sound a bit retro but is very much of the moment.


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