Local Wire

The Morning Kennedy Was Shot

There's a hippie hiding in here somewhere. Behind the dreamy, intentionally off-key harmonies, under the shuffling, soft snare drums, inside the closet with the plucky guitar that's trying to fade out of all the songs, there's something very sloppy-'60s-stumbling-into-silly-'70s going on. It's pop, but it's confused, as if somebody dosed its herbal tea. The first song on this five-song EP, "Nice Moves," is all sparkling guitar and twinkling keyboards behind soft-voiced singing that's mashed together in an orgy of overdubs, followed by a meandering alt-rock number called "The Rooster," which has about as much arrangement as a hippie's underwear drawer. Sometimes, the kooky, cosmic catch-all approach works in a weird way, like "The Desert," which sounds like The Doors' Ray Manzarek drinking absinthe at the organ, right before Motown busts in and starts showing young members of The Who how to do the hustle. The group chant and tribal beat climax near the end of the song only increase the "time warp in a bottle" vibe. We get the gist, and the gist is good — but the recording quality is not, and so the songs suffer rampant bouts of down-tuned instruments and untimely vocal dubs. If the band can lock down a hot producer and liberate the hippie, the full-length should be good.