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CD REVIEW: straw dogs – “hum of the motor”
By Stacey Board - 06/18/2003 - 04:09 PM EDT

Artist: Band: straw dogs
Album: “hum of the motor”
CD Review: The straw dogs have a sound that’s a bit hard to pinpoint. It's kind of low-fi pop. David von Beck and Darren Smith are a great melodic songwriting team. They have a hint of Squeeze, Nick Lowe and that general flavor in their sound. But whomever I should more accurately be conjuring up to compare it to, it's definitely pleasing to the ear.

Both gentlemen are also quite fine guitar players. There are some really tasty guitar tones at work here and I’m a real sucker for it. Also in the arrangements they’ve included Smith’s keyboards and some other players varying the sound with dobro, slide, and drums. It's subtle arrangement with vocals and melody in the spotlight.

“Who I Am” is one my favorites. All of their strengths really shine here. The harmonies, melody and guitar work on this track really work together nicely. If you are a fan of well written and played pop, you should definitely add “hum of the motor” to your collection.

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