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Gregg Yeti & The Best Lights

Heart Palpitations of the Rich & Famous

(Eskimo Kiss; US: 29 Apr 2008; UK: Unavailable)

Syracuse stalwart Gregg Yeti is front and center on this record, one featuring a few friends who hauled this album along. Yeti initially comes off like Xavier Rudd on the roots-y, earthy “Deal With You Perfect” although the mix here is incredibly poor with the bass come through the speakers quite distorted. It’s a thoughtful song though with a supporting choir which gives it an uplifting quality. But for the majority of the record, Yeti channels the likes of Pixies or Frank Black (or both) for some memorable moments. The mix is vastly improved on during “Body Like a Fever” that has a warm, inviting roots-rock feeling at its core as Yeti’s raspy vocals guide the tune’s direction. Listening to the record, the DIY motif is in full effect during the lo-fi indie nugget “Adventures in Bad T-Shirts” with Jessica Rudy providing sweet vocals and harmonies. Melodic is probably the best word to describe this record, as Yeti shifts gears downward for the light but summery “Laughter Be Your Slave” but the highlight might be a song Yeti doesn’t even have vocals on as “Half on the Way” resembles a pretty, picture-perfect number The Delgados should have gotten around to. And the heavenly “Colonize Your Eyes” is a thoughtful, reflective song that should hit a nerve with most listeners. Never one to waste a song, Yeti assures the homestretch is not filler with “My Narcoleptic Sara” sounding like a fine collaboration between Neko Case and R.E.M.

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Originally from Cape Breton, MacNeil is currently writing for the Toronto Sun as well as other publications, including All Music Guide, Billboard.com, NME.com, Country Standard Time, Skope Magazine, Chart Magazine, Glide, Ft. Myers Magazine and Celtic Heritage. A graduate of the University of King's College, MacNeil currently resides in Toronto. He has interviewed hundreds of acts ranging from Metallica and AC/DC to Daniel Lanois and Smokey Robinson. MacNeil (modestly referred to as King J to friends), a diehard Philadelphia Flyers fan, has seen the Rolling Stones in a club setting, thereby knowing he will rest in peace at some point down the road. Oh, and he writes for PopMatters.com.


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