You can sound good or interesting, but South Sutton, New Hampshire’s Jason Anderson, a.k.a Wolf Colonel, tries to sound like he wants to avoid frustrating college-radio reputation chic instead.
Something/Everything!, the third LP from Anderson, who now spends most of his time in Portland, Oregon, is an inconsistent personal success that’s more diverse, forward and elastically humanist than his past two albums combined. It’s also a great deal different than the sum-total output of anything on last year’s stateside independent release list.
Anderson’s voice is annoying and consciously meaningful, and the album nose-dives after the entertainingly shit skiffle-pop of “Now We Choose,” but the attempt to squish faddish optimism in the gaps between contrary style-picking is a remarkable anti-genre failure. There’s pig-trashed blues-punk (“Break the News”) and Squarepusher glitch (“Citizen’s Arrest”), as well as Dylan folk (“One Thousand Ways”), dream-pop British Invasion (“Astronaut, Astronaut”) and something like Mogwai’s “Sine Wave” played on a sun-warped car audio cassette while the Lemonheads paw the glove compartment. It’s important this rarely irritates.
If there’s no brilliance here, Something/Everything! crackles with a willingness to try. Anderson, holds his own in an attempt to make an idealistically playful multi-mood LP that lifts itself out of bargain-bin experimentalism with a refusal, and a loathing, to play by the rules of American indie-rock self-snobbery.