steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

Fred Wines

"Low-Fi in the Laundry Room pt.6: Electra" CDR

Low-fi / Handmade Records

Genres: hometaper, rock, lo-fi

Aug 18 - 24 2003

Fred Wines is like the poor man's Lou Reed. His decidedly unprofessional half-talk/half-sing vocals are never going to win over any big audiences, but his songwriting talent is unquestionably infectious. On songs like "Nobody's Fault But Mine" and "Leavin' Louisiana In Broad Daylight," he blends pop and folk influences with a dose of fresh Americana. The electric guitar and drum machine are Wines' only back-up instruments, but they do the job. Other tunes, like "Shadow Of A Doubt" are more slow and folky.

With that said, it is important to note that Fred's music is not likely to appeal to anyone other than the most diehard hometaper fans. Production values are low, and the songs are by no means hit singles in the making. Fred does what he does as a labour of love, and chances are he's most interested in trading his albums for releases of a similar nature. MJB, Don Campau, and Ken Clinger are names that might fit alongside Wines.

All in all, this is a niche album, and must be treated as such. If hometaped, lo-fi pop music is your thing, then Electra could be a disc worth checking out. Otherwise, you may find Fred Wines' style a bit unexciting.


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 16 tracks, distributed by the artist, released 2002]