steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

The Spectacular Fantastic

Self-titled CD

Ionik Records

Genres: indie pop, country, indie rock

Aug 27 - Sep 2 2002

Surely you must be aware of Ionik Records, the Cincinnati indie label that recently brought us some fine offerings from Structure Factor 8 and 2.2 Kid Life. Along with Datawaslost, Ionik exposes the world to some of the finest songwriters and musicians on the scene today, and it's a shame that they don't get the recognition they truly deserve. The Spectacular Fantastic is the label's newest outfit, and it seems they've made another great catch. Mike Detmer, the party responsible for the band, is also one of the three members of Folk?, and with this album, he proves that he can stand up perfectly well in a solo setting.

Pop is the main ingredient here, with lots of country and folk influences tossed around, as well. Detmer has a strong talent for producing strong, instantly catchy tunes that show off a variety of influences and styles. We get mid-90s indie rock on "I Believed In Me" and "Every Moment", folky country sounds on "Everybody Needs Someone" and "How Many Ways?", and even some others like garage rock ("Future Beat"), experimental electronics ("Paranoia"), and 60's-tinged pop ("Summer Sunshine"). Likewise, similarities to other bands are aplenty, including throwbacks to everyone from Gram Parsons to Sebadoh. Not to mention that a lot of the more country-ish songs on this album sound like those of Radiogram's recent "All The Way Home" album.

And while the genres are scattered somewhat erratically throughout the album, it remains a solid release simply because of the strength of the songs. Listen to the gentle folk number, "Everybody Needs Someone", and you'll know what I mean. Talent this amazing doesn't come around that often. If you're at all into good local indie pop, pick this record up!


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 11 tracks; distributed by the label; released 2002]