Past Mistakes and Hauntings
As a child of the 1990s, it's surreal to witness the alternative-rock aesthetics of that decade being recast in the context of revivalism. I'm not certain that Past Mistakes and Hauntings, the debut EP from Deco Auto, qualifies as a throwback, but I haven't heard a local album all year that conjures up the Clinton years quite so thoroughly. The trio stakes out space between Superchunk's rough-around-the-edges power pop and the more mainstream, MTV Buzz Bin sounds of Superdrag. (I have not as yet detected a Supertramp influence.) Vocalist Steven Garcia has a borderline emo cry, an appropriate counterpart to the crunchy hooks that he scratches out on his guitar. On "I Shouldn't Know," he cedes the mic to bassist Tracy Flowers; her voice is buried on the verses but emerges for the sweet chorus like Whip-Smart-era Liz Phair. As with the other three songs on Past Mistakes, you get the feeling that maybe it's a cover, something you've heard before. But you haven't — high praise for revivalists.