When asked about remaking his favorite songs, Scott Loomer remarked, “You don’t cover ‘Crazy’ unless you’re Patsy Cline, which we’re not.” That’s a taste of the wit and wisdom that makes Loomer (the band) so appealing.
No flash, no pretense, Songs from the Wild West Island is just a solid batch of songs that pierce deep into the heart of Alt-Country. Loomer doesn’t overreach (no ill-advised Patsy Cline covers here); they quietly produce assured, instinctive music, with a world weariness that years of experience earn. Not bad for just their second album.
Loomer, from Toronto (not to be confused with that “other” Loomer from Detroit) formed in 1999, a six-piece propelled by the songwriting of namesake, Scott Loomer. Their obvious cohorts are the Jayhawks, but Loomer’s songs exhibit more varied influences: the compact pop of Counting Crows (“Anastasia”); the gloomy ambiguity of Michael Stipe (“Bang the Nails”); the toughness (“Dirt Angel”) and tenderness (“Only Lovers”) of Sticky Fingers-era Stones.
Excerpts from my favorite tracks:
“Sunday Driver Down”
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