(Sandy) Alex GSaturday
(SANDY) ALEX G
Playing on Saturday
The Philadelphia musician offers a meticulously filtered, distorted document of indie rock. Though it’s his most accessible album, his best traits remain obtuse storytelling and oddly-shaped songs.
In a sense, singer/songwriter Alex Giannascoli is the modern ideal for an indie rock throwback. The frequent comparisons with Elliott Smith or Sparklehorse are legitimate, but mostly regarding his recording process: Every production decision—whether double-tracking vocals or close-mic’ing the guitars—creates the assumption of intimacy, recalling an earlier time when instrumental or monetary limitations necessitated ingenuity. But he records on a laptop rather than a 4-track, and he was an early example of a songwriter leveraging a strong Bandcamp presence into a deal with a high-profile imprint, in his case, Domino. Beach Music, his first album for his new label, was a gorgeous and puzzling release that gained esteem throughout 2015, but it seemed determined to offer continuity with his scruffy early work rather than to serve as any kind of break out. Rocket, a record that first feels oddly soldered together, is in a sense the album that Beach Music wanted to be, the most comprehensive and accessible document of a diffuse catalog.
Text source: 8.4 album review by Pitchfork