Blunt Mechanic World Record

Blunt Mechanic World Record
Ben Barnett had a hard go of it last decade. He released eight albums in just less than seven years as the principle member of every-kind-of-indie dabblers Kind of Like Spitting, which gained a small, but dedicated cult following despite getting a general cold shoulder from critics, before hanging up the moniker in late 2006 to pursue solo ventures. After four years of touring here and there, and posting one-off songs to his MySpace, Barnett has finally recorded and released his first solo venture under new pseudonym Blunt Mechanic, and it finds the singer-songwriter in a happier and more laidback state than he ever expressed in KOLS. The first half of the cheekily titled World Record is made up mostly of sharp, guitar-heavy pop tunes that find Barnett smartly eschewing over-the-top emotions for clever lyrics and an enthusiastic delivery. But despite an impressive first half that boasts highlights "Thrown Out At Third," "Aluminium & Light" and "Our First Brains," World Record's second half unmistakably sags as Barnett reverts back to his old, half-tempo, melodramatic self, making listening to the album in full a bit of a slog. Barnett's progressed, but not enough to make World Record especially relevant. (Barsuk)