Dark Fantastic Dark Fantastic

After settling in to own a record store after stints in Screaming Trees and Truly, Pickerel took some time off from recording only to be sucked back in. Now he is back with worn down tunes that have their moments, mainly on opener “I’m No Good.” Containing more elements of Pink Floyd’s surrealism than Jesus and Mary Chain’s bone rattling noise, the 12 songs drone on in typical shoe-gazing fashion. At times, the drone is almost too much, “Shadows Animal” fails to expand further into lushness or sombre ambience. The fantastic organ playing by Laura DiMarco turns the album around with “The Girl with the Cross in Her Car,” highlighting the trippy pop sensibilities that could have made this debut stellar. Pickerel’s vocals go a long way to meld the sounds on this track to make it the second standout. The underlining stormy atmosphere on the album just isn’t strong enough to make this more than a mild tempest. So tie up your shoes and polish them with JAMC, Curve or Teenage Fanclub. (Up)