The Fresh & Onlys Long Slow Dance

The Fresh & OnlysLong Slow Dance
San Francisco, CA's the Fresh & Onlys are as promiscuous as they are prolific, having recorded four albums (not to mention countless EPs, singles and all their side-projects) in as many years for as many labels: Castle Face, Woodsist, In the Red and now Mexican Summer. They're a record collector's dream, not just because of the frequency they release music, but also because of the quality. Fourth album Long Slow Dance, however, inches ever so close to the breakthrough that could slow their progress. They still sound like an obscure '60s psych treasure by way of Echo & the Bunnymen ― frontman Tim Cohen's rich baritone croon is frighteningly Mac-like ― but the band are so consummate and poised now that it's as if they're trying to live out their arena rock aspirations. The production was no doubt bolstered by working in Lucky Cat Studios with Trans Am's Phil Manley, who's helped them brush off the garage-y din and produce a soft-edged album that would have sold millions in the mid-'80s and made modern rock radio hits out of the synth-assisted "Fire Alarm" and "Yes or No." Long Slow Dance is a record designed to earn them new fans, but also lose some old ones by ditching the scratchy, unpolished production of their previous work. The Fresh & Onlys have it in them to be rock powerhouses reaching the ears of millions, so don't be surprised if their fifth record label happens to be a major. (Mexican Summer)