Golden Smog

Weird Tales – 1998 (Rykodisc)

Reviewed by Eric Zehnbauer

CDs by Golden Smog

With members from Wilco, Soul Asylum, The Jayhawks and others, Golden Smog could be considered a modern supergroup. And its latest release serves to further validate that.

From the opening bars of the first track, "To Call My Own," the listener is immediately struck by the marked influence of The Byrds. Replete with rich multi-part harmonies and the ringing 12-string guitar work reminiscent of Roger McGuinn, the initial track comes as close to capturing The Byrds' sound as anyone else has since. This influence is present on other tracks, as well as influence from the styles of Neil Young or Crosby, Stills & Nash. Not just a nostalgia trip, the songs effectively pay homage to the group's musical heritage. Other notable tracks include "Looking Forward to Seeing You," "Reflections On Me" and "If I Only Had A Car."

Obviously, the album also exhibits influences of the members' respective "day job" bands. Golden Smog proves to be more than the sum of its parts, as this disc is better than the latest releases from each of the members' other bands.