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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Buoy LaRue

Lover By Proxy

Review by Larry Toering

This is Buoy LaRue's second helping.  The lineup features front man Michael Herrman and Mississippi Studios owner Jim Brunberg along with Erik Menteer on guitar and moog. This is a very mellow and relaxed EP with plenty of intense moments to spice it up. A chamber folk outfit never sounded so good, as they also have a lot of retro-80s style romantic rock appeal in the songwriting. Recorded at Black Diamond Studios, this is an excellent solution for kicking back and escaping the norm. Being yet another northwest band on my radar, this is one of the more interesting acts to be pointed in my direction from In Music We Trust, and I highly recommend it.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2012  Volume 3 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
¾ Angel
This is a solid way to start things, with an instant pop groove to set the vibe swiftly. I really like everything about this, from the intensity to the melancholy textures in the fade. It’s a beautiful tune with not one flaw in sight. I would have to spot this as having probably the most accessibility on offer.
Hold On
This leans more in the “chamber” direction, and it's a lovely paced tune with a romantic essence that won't quit. This oozes pure class throughout.
Smile
This reminds me a lot of PM Dawn for some reason, which is a band that I like. It reminds me specifically of a track called “Holding On,” which also resembles the previous track’s title. Even with that addition, the more I think of it, perhaps it's just a coincidence, but I liken this to that great track. Somehow this is even better, and by the end of things it really takes on a much more complex arrangement and stands on its own.
Merger
This has an air of familiarity, too. I hear bands like the Cure shining through here, and it just has to be mentioned that Buoy LaRue has that infectious quality of that transitional sound of late 80s to early 90s . If I were to compare this to the others so far, it's probably the least exciting, although the guitars come alive. It also has some of the best lyrics on the disc. So, I do like this nearly as much as the others, but it has less of an edge - that's all.
Begin
This has a different approach altogether, as things pick up the pace and the lyrics become even more compelling. This is all fantastic music with that 80s appeal but totally original and very modernized. I think there just isn't enough of this to go around, so Buoy LaRue have a great niche.
 
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