Centro-Matic, 'Candidate Waltz' (Undertow)

7
Candidate Waltz
Critical Mass
Release Date: June 21, 2011
Label: Undertow

by Steve Kandell

Having cranked out 20 full-length albums in 14 years with the bands Centro-Matic and South San Gabriel, as well as under his real name, Denton, Texas' Will Johnson sometimes seems dwarfed by his prolific output. By any math, though, Candidate Waltz is a solid entry point, showcasing the band's mid-tempo stomps (reliably 4/4, despite the title) and Johnson's Zevon-cribbing rasp and wit. "Only in My Double Mind," however, is the standout that recent records have lacked-slathered in reverb, its harmonies are stacked comfortingly like a chicken-fried Wall of Sound.

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