Dykehouse Midrange

Each month Exclaim! receives at least one CD-R in the mail with a note, scrawled in crayon, beseeching us to "rEvIew mY bAnd’s alBuM...pLeAse” Which is nice, but more often than not ambition exceeds talent and you curse the relative ease of home recording that enabled these tyros to digitally capture arbitrary noise. Then a guy like Mike Dykehouse comes along and has you praising affordable mics and iMacs. His near-homosexual annunciation and layered synths sound like Yanni covering My Bloody Valentine and, through sheer novelty, it works. In fact, some moments give hints of the sound of adult contemporary in 30 years (scratch that: adult contemporary hasn’t really changed for 30 years). However, like today’s MOR drivel, Dykehouse’s post-shoegaze relationship rock does tend to grate, especially on "Burden of Proof” and "Unholy Fire,” which would sound at home on a blue-movie soundtrack. And 55 minutes is just too long, Mike. We know you can press record, the trick is learning when to press stop. (Ghostly)