SPIKE & THE SWEET SPOTS: Strange Breed: LP

Spencer Johnson’s nasally vocals and mellow songwriting are front and center on the debut LP from this folky garage rock outfit. Both remind me of Daniel Johnston more than anyone else, though this is certainly smoother and cleaner than most of Johnston’s work. It’s a style that’s more than saturated lately, but there’s actually something really memorable and charismatic about these songs. There’s personality under the reverb. The shuffling drums and twangy guitars give it some cowpunk undertones—nothing overpowering, maybe just the hint of a neon cowboy glowing over a dusty motel. That kind of feeling. There’s a beautiful Shannon And The Clams cover somewhere in the middle that really rounds out the retro sound.

 –Indiana Laub (Randy, [email protected], randyrecords.bigcartel.com)