Angel Hat (Montesano)
by Marc Hirsh
originally published in Space City Rock, Fall 2003
Based primarily around a minimally distorted electric guitar or two, with the occasional drumbeat thrown in every few songs, Andrea Maxand’s Angel Hat sounds not a little like Call The Doctor-era Sleater-Kinney as sung by Welcome Home-era Aimee Mann. Those albums were snapshots of the artists in the moments right before they hit their stride, and Maxand’s album throws off a few hints that she’ll follow suit and start swinging next time. “Whine And Shine” is particularly promising; my unfortunate habit of mentally adding absent instruments (drums in this case) to the mix in order to reconcile it with traditional pop arrangement fails to throw the recording that actually exists into a negative light the way it usually does. As it turns out, the song, in which a fully reverbed Maxand keens, Mountain Goats-like, about the rut that’s killing her, is just fine the way it is. The rest of Angel Hat isn’t quite as memorable or confident, but it’s not bad in its way, even if it shows more promise than accomplishment.
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