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Miggs, 18th & Hope
Elm City/EMI Records, Sept. 11

09/06/12
By Eric Saeger news@hippopress.com



I know these guys want to have some sort of Peter Buck-ish weird-beard indie appeal, but after five albums together, they’re a bit too pro (and probably too tense) for stupid games and joke songs. And plus, get this, there’s a definite Permanent Waves-era Rush influence in “Stars,” with singer Don Miggs getting super nasal and the bass line getting, similarly,all Geddy Lee. Actually, though, Miggs sounds more like Don Henley than ever, that’s the nasal-ness I’m hearing. Wait, yes, I think this guy, like, really digs Don Henley, because “Heart Full of Doubt” makes me think of an AOR-dub version of “Dirty Laundry.” Yes, we’ll go with that, I’ve decided; my verdict is that this Miggs is a cross between Goo Goo Dolls and Don Henley. Now, does that spell alt-rock cred? Of course not, don’t be silly, but keep in mind that these guys have opened for Maroon 5, and this record was produced by Phil Ramone, the guy who produced giant-ass dinosaurs like Carly Simon and Billy Joel. So just forget about any “indie-rock” chatter you may have heard in relation to Miggs; “indie” has nothing to do with this. Could I see this throwing wild punches at Maroon 5 for a top-dog Billboard spot? Absolutely, but the real granola that factors in that kind of thing goes way beyond decent music — usually felonies of varying degrees are involved. Hopefully they know a few thugs? A —Eric W. Saeger






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