The M's Real Close Ones

The M's Real Close Ones
Frequent tour-mates of Wilco, Garden City dwellers the M’s have consistently seduced live audiences with their swirling psychedelic pop and compelling onstage presence. So it’s a shame that the band tend to fall flat on disc. Real Close Ones starts off on a promising note, with the frenetic, bluesy garage of "Big Sound,” an explosion of dirty feedback and horns. The chokehold is loosened after a barrage of unmemorable tracks that culminate in the ridiculous "Naked,” a tune that quickly (and unfortunately) recalls Harry Nilsson’s "Put The Lime In the Coconut.” If this had been on an otherwise solid album, the track’s humour and irreverence would have been forgiven but as it stands, it’s an irritation. Things are somewhat redeemed by "Bros In Arms,” which opens with a questionable classic rock-esque riff but then dissolves into a sing-along pleasure. Not even the disc’s strongest moments measure up to the catchy urgency of "Plan of the Man” from Future Women, the band’s previous patchy offering. Real Close Ones wouldn’t be nearly so disappointing if the M’s hadn’t already proven that they’re capable of so much better. (Polyvinyl)