Full on Austin

John Wesley Coleman isn't one to hold back. Perhaps best known for his work with the Golden Boys, this Austin artist writes and performs with full alacrity. The chorus of the first track on this album is "Dance with me, motherfucker" (possibly plural; Coleman isn't the clearest of enunciators). Is that a request, a demand or something even more forceful? Hard to say. He is one insistent bastard, to be sure.

John Wesley Coleman III
Microwave Dreams
(Super Secret)

The album isn't full blister; it burbles and blips along at times. But Coleman's intensity never wavers. He puts just as much intensity into an introspective midtempo piece as he does into a rager. Which is the perfect way to segue into a discussion of his versatility.

The generally lo-fi production does hearken back to Coleman's garage past, but the songs on this album span the last 30 years of indie rock. He allows himself to be as pretty, shiny or outright grungy as the song requires. And he sounds comfortable in all settings. The changes between songs can be jarring, but Coleman's enthusiasm provides more than enough of a bridge.

This one definitely benefits from repeat listens. There's far too much here to fully appreciate in an audience or three. Coleman not only lives up to his underground legend with this album. He improves upon it. That's truly impressive.

Jon Worley

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