Album Review: Spurts – That Was Mean And I’m Sorry

3.5/5

Oakland-based band the Spurts make no apologies for the influence of 1990s lo-fi pop on their band, doubling down on that sound with their latest, That Was Mean And I’m Sorry. The stellar eight-track follow up to 2021’s The Long Haul, gives nods to everyone from Built To Spill to Yo La Tengo.

The album opens on the sunny, Weezer-esque “Easy For You” and lowkey but just as fun “Waterpipe.”  “Jeff Tweedy” is quite possible the best song yet about writer’s block, while the acoustic “Open Mic Night” is sort of a mellow version of  The Replacements’ “Talent Show.”  Those two tracks add to the theme here of struggling to be in a band. The album closes on “Crushed By A Fucker,” a clear stand-out track that borrows the Pixies trademark quiet/loud/quiet template and boasts some stellar guitar riffs.

Across eight songs, the band manage to both pay homage to ‘90s college rock radio staples while adding in enough of their own personality and quirks  to overcome any allegations of simply cashing in on someone else’s nostalgia.

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