Left On Tri

Parker Longbough

Wilderhood Music, 2018

http://www.parkerlongbough.com

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 11/24/2018

While I generally don't think of Anchorage as a hot bed of indie rock talent, if this third album from Parker Longbough is any indication of the state of independent music in the Last Frontier, it's probably worth looking into other undiscovered outfits from the area. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Parker Longbough is the recording moniker of Matthew Witthoeft, previously of Uncle Jesse. His lo-fi, electronic, and occasionally country-influenced bedroom pop often sounds like it was born in an apartment in Brooklyn, not in a cabin in the Alaskan woods.

The album gets off to a weird but charming start with the quirky melodies and candid storytelling of “RNC 2000” that shifts into fuzzed out lo-fi rock and sounds straight out of the school of Lou Barlow (Sebadoh). “Jack Ryan” follows with calm acoustic strumming and a lazy atmosphere where Witthoeft references many moments and people from '90s culture, and “The Catcher” gets whispery in a less despondent Elliott Smith sort of way with just an acoustic guitar.

At the halfway point, things get experimental in all the right ways with the jarring and scrappy “Infinite Zinn,” where the vocals take a shift into harsh and the music brings muffled horns into scratchy noise and what sounds like bells and triangles. Things come back to the acoustic side on the Owen-ish “Sophia Loren Look-Alike.” It isn't long before things get strange again on the hip-hop influenced “Secret Santa” and the manic “Lent 2006” that leads with soft and sparse but then erupts into many voices 'singing' against a droning, post-punk backdrop.

Consider this a party album for fans of Stephen Malkmus, Lou Reed, and the early days of Beck. It's hard to decide if Left On Tri has better storytelling or music, but both are pretty great, even if a little odd – but that's certainly part of the appeal.

Rating: B+

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