Local Wire

Tugboat: Patches of Land

Band: Tugboat

Title: Patches of Land

Basics: Tempe five-some Tugboat are quite an anomaly in today's You Asked For It game -- a rare effort from a band that, when I tell my peers about the record, I don't have to be six beers deep, lamenting why it is I do these columns.

Previous You Asked For It albums have led me to question the existence of a higher being, and Tugboat is a rare band that makes me feel like there is something out there watching over us. Rocket science Patches of Land is not, and I like that. It's an odd feeling to be in an actual good mood after listening to a local band's record, but Tugboat have earned every amount of my respect with this EP.

Best Song: The title track sounds like mid-to-late-'90s alternative rock in all the right ways. Lead singer Wayne Jones vocals remind me of Todd Lewis (lead singer of The Toadies) with, perhaps, a lighter feel to them. While I take issue with often wiener-y sounding alternative/indie rock lead singers, Jones gets a pass because his band's music is enjoyable. There are elements in Tugboat's music of what made that '90s alternative sound so affable, complete with some keys to help add that extra edge to their sound -- and the keys in "Patches of Land," mixed with an occasional grungy power chord, help make the band sound like '90s shoegazers/space rockers Failure, even if for a few precious seconds.

Worst Song: "Cannibals" isn't an awful song, by any means, but it is a pretty one-sided offering. It follows the same piano tune the entire song and it can get a repetitive. It's still a fun song to listen to, and is just barely the weakest offering on this solid five-song EP.

Suggestions: Keep playing house shows in Corvallis, Oregon -- seriously. When I read that this band played a show in the town of my alma mater Oregon State, I was pleasantly surprised. Hell, their entire recent West Coast tour made me pretty jealous -- San Diego, Eugene, Corvallis, Portland, Olympia. As if Tugboat's music wasn't charming enough, they go and schedule a completely badass tour. It's a shame they have to share the bill with Captain Squeegee (ugh) at the Marquee this Friday, but that venue sucks, anyway.

What else can I say? A house show in Corvallis is a new one for me. Corvallis lacks any real venues to play, but this didn't stop the band from booking a house show. That's some pretty slick effort, if you ask me. 

Grade: A- (!)

If you're a musician from the Phoenix metro area and would like to have your music reviewed in You Asked For It (our first-come, first-served and often harsh record review column) please send it in an envelope marked "YAFI" to:

Michael Lopez
You Asked For It
c/o Phoenix New Times
1201 E. Jefferson Street Phoenix , AZ 85032

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Michael Lopez