MIKE ADAMS AT HIS HONEST WEIGHT: Casino Drone: CD/LP

Mike Adams is a musician who has always been on the periphery of my musical spectrum. That’s changed with his latest album, Casino Drone. He is now squarely in my sights. Despite the odd band name, Mike Adams At His Honest Weight plays totally serious, blessed-out indie pop. The biggest influence I hear is Starflyer 59, but there’s also a healthy dose of Beach Boys and the Cars. Adams is great at throwing down some legit melodies and grooves. Most of the album is cool, genuine, and relaxed, but not boring. The wailing, pleading guitars on “Underneath the Door” are killer, while the chugga-chugga guitar riff on “Diem Be” sounds like it might’ve been taken from a hardcore song (although this is surely the heaviest the band gets). This is certainly the band’s best album, and should be in the collection of anyone who likes strong melodies and music made for driving around in the summer with the windows rolled down. -Kurt Morris (Joyful Noise)