Nassau A Fire in the Ashes

As a member of 13 Engines, Guided By Voices and Tangiers, Jon McCann was not exactly a principle contributor to any of the songwriting, being the drummer and all. After leaving the latter earlier this year, right when they were tasting success and about to release their second album, McCann decided to do his own thing with brother Scott, Brad Pallister and Scott Wilson. Now the chief songwriter of Nassau, McCann shows where his interests lie — in swirling, psychedelic pop of mystical proportions. A Fire in the Ashes is a mesmerising trip through the history of Creation Records and Nuggets collections, as well as the active San Francisco drone rock scene (Brian Jonestown Massacre, Warlocks, BRMC). And while the easiest thing may be to peg the band as just another shoegazer revivalist, if you listen deeper, you can hear a wide range of visions, from mind-expanding ambience ("In the Morning”) and hip-shaking garage ("Sick Again”) to enchanted folk ("This We Need”) and beautifully orchestrated arrangements ("A Fire in the Ashes”). With A Fire…McCann has achieved his goal of becoming a songwriter capable of taking his music in many directions while not losing sight of his kaleidoscopic milieu. (Broadcast)