Golden Smog Blood On The Slacks

Coming hot on the heels of last summer’s Another Fine Day, fans could be forgiven for thinking that their favourite alt-country supergroup are on a roll. But this eight-track, 25-minute hodgepodge is merely an addendum, recalling the band’s origins as a vehicle for prominent members of the Minneapolis scene to blow off a little steam. So, in that spirit we get unexpected readings of Bowie’s "Starman” and Dinosaur Jr.’s "Tarpit” mixed in with some passable power-pop homages, like Gary Louris’s "Look At You Now.” The absence of Jeff Tweedy on this outing is plainly obvious and Soul Asylum’s Dan Murphy tries to compensate with the bittersweet "Scotch On Ice.” Louris does a better job with the gently loping "Without A Struggle.” But while there are more than a few moments on Blood On The Slacks that will elicit some smiles — the title alone being one of them — this is hardly an essential release and may be for Jayhawks completists only. (Lost Highway/Universal)