Loose Fur

As one gets older we notice things about our personalities that we either like or dislike and as much as we tried to fight them when we were younger we soon give up and learn to accept them. We even start to warm to some traits and see them as important threads in the marvellous tapestry that is us, despite the fact that they annoy the hell out of people around us and sometimes land us in jail. Recently I have discovered one of these facts about my personality and in the words of the Dude “Some new shit has come to light.” I have discovered that I have the worrying ability to become so totally obsessed and consumed by something that all logic and sense leave me when it enters my thought. About a month ago the subject of my obsessions became anything Wilco/Tweedy. It seems like we have waited far too long for new Wilco material and I just couldn’t take it. So I would spend hours, days combing the internet for anything Jeff Tweedy had ever put his hand to, any collaboration, any live morsel even if it was recorded from the toilets.

So you can imagine my delight when Loose Fur’s second album landed. Finally something legitimate and legal to quench my insatiable thirst. Like any addiction quality rarely comes into it, so it took me a while to ask myself if this album was any good. And it is, though not reaching the dizzy heights of pure genius that Wilco reside in. It goes without saying that my favourite moments are when Jeff is on point but on the whole this is a solid piece of work with just the right mix of straight up rock, melody subtlety and experimentation. It seems like less of a side project for the boys ( Jeff Tweedy, Jim O’Rourke and Glenn Kotche) and yet still manages to sound like three musicians enjoying a day off. This is seen quite clearly in The Ruling Class, a jaunty little number about Jesus shooting crack. Further on there’s a great instrumental song An Ecumenical Matter which really shows off the compositional skill of this dream team. And the album finishes with 2 songs worthy of any Wilco B side. Wreckroom with its fantastic guitar solo’s reminiscent of the jaw dropping opener on Wilco’s A Ghost Is Born and the slightly Sesame Street sounding finale of Wanted.

This album will certainly keep me satisfied until the next Wilco offering and maybe if I stay away from him long enough Jeff and his layers might just lift this damn restraining order.