Reviewed by Matt Steyn
Michigan-based, Fred Thomas, member and leader of more indie/alt bands than you could count, most noticeably Saturday Looks Good To Me, has released a new record called All Are Saved.
It’s honest, it’s brutally honest. This is a record from a guy in his late 30’s that has dedicated his life to indie music, but has never really picked up mainstream attention for his craft, and is now unleashing down-the-line honesty in a one way conversation with himself.
Here’s something brutally honest, in keeping with the mantra on All Are Saved, I’ve never heard of Fred Thomas before. In fact, all of what I just wrote is more or less a rephrased version of a review for the same album on Pitchfork.com.
That’s not to say this isn’t good though. I mean Pitchfork rated it 8.0, which is high by their standards. They also threw around words like ‘idiosyncratic’ and used adjectives like ‘unorthodox’ to characterise Thomas’ percussion approach.
This is a brilliant piece of art, which is not a word to be taken lightly in the context of describing any collection of songs in our era. It’s unashamed, blatant, moving, sarcastic and unwaveringly innovative.
The record is musically solid, but it stands firmly upon the genius lyrics written by Thomas. Whether it’s deeply poetic lines like, “the only thing worse than disdain is colossal indifference”, or the story of cracking a flip phone on a “piss-covered floor” interwoven into a message about a lack of care, it’s somehow all beautiful, quirky and humorously heartbreaking at once.
Listen to this now. Honestly, right now.
At the very least I’ve just introduced you to something that will entice honesty in you, at best I’ve given you the gift of a brilliant artist with an extensive back catalogue to drown your iphones storage with.
In all honesty though, whether you hate it or love it, that’s okay.