Crocodiles, Wymond Miles, Soft Speaker | Empty Bottle | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader

Crocodiles, Wymond Miles, Soft Speaker Early Warnings (Music) Soundboard Recommended Image

When: Sat., Nov. 16, 9:30 p.m. 2013

On last year’s Long Slow Dance (Mexican Summer), San Francisco garage band the Fresh & Onlys made a striking move toward glossy, 80s-style modern rock. Last month the group’s singer and guitarist, Wymond Miles, released his second solo album, Cut Yourself Free (Sacred Bones), making it clear that he’s the prime driver of that transformation. His own moody tunes aren’t as polished as his main band’s music, but he’s got a serious thing for damaged crooners such as Robert Smith, Ian McCullough, and Nick Cave (on “Vacant Eyes” he sounds like a less dyspeptic version of the latter). Miles alternately emphasizes layers of retro synthesizers (“Night Dreams” and “Bronze Patina”) and layers of guitars (the chugging “Anniversary Song” and the chiming, supercatchy “Why Are You Afraid,” which amply demonstrates his love of 60s rock), but the arrangements feel immediate and unfussy. He played most of the instruments himself and made the record so quickly he was half finished before he realized he’d started, rattling off indelible melodies that transcend the dated-sounding styles he’s hung up on. —Peter Margasak Crocodiles headline; Wymond Miles and Soft Speaker open.

Price: $12, $10 in advance