steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

The Spectacular Fantastic

"New Equations For The Simple Mind" CD

Ionik Records

Genres: folk-pop  country-rock, indie rock,

Ionik Records
1634 Lombard St., 2nd floor
Philadelphia, PA 19146

Apr 14 - 20 2003

A while back I reviewed The Spectacular Fantastic's debut album.  It was good.  Real good.  I praised it excitedly.

So here, on Cincinnati indie label Ionik Records, is TSF's new album - New Equations For The Simple Mind.  Actually the solo effort of Mike Detmer (of Folk), TSF creates tunes that sound as good and complete as those of full bands.

"Wake Me Up" is a moody, catchy rock song with infectious melodies and a slightly eerie sound.  "Depression" is a dark, sorrowful track with a strong Songs: Ohia / Will Oldham vibe.  The hidden track, meanwhile, is a scorching rock number with a slight country undertone.  Fortunately, no songs are letdowns.

With elements of pop, indie rock, country, and folk in his music, TSF's Mike Detmer knows how to satisfy.  Names as diverse as Will Oldham, Sparklehorse, and Wilco are called to mind in an album that seems never content to dwell on any one idea or style.  The only bad aspect here is the mental anguish borne from the realization that New Equations For The Simple Mind isn't in half the music collections it deserves to be.

The Spectacular Fantastic has proven himself to be an amazingly solid musician, one that has created not one but two very successful albums.  If he keeps going at it, recognition will soon follow.  I can't wait until his entire back catalogue ends up being distributed in record stores worldwide.  Until then, however, he will remain a classic example of the under-recognized musical genius.


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 13 songs, distributed by the label, released 2003]