Sound — 8
Some music you can listen to 1 second of and the entire album will appear in front of you, because it follows a notes-by-numbers approach that by now has bored into your skull. Some music you listen to and can only sort of guess as to what's to come. Homegrown fits nicely into the latter, taking the regular one man and his guitar approach and pushing it to the Nth degree of quality. There are no drums, no bass or synthesizers, the entire 8 track album is one guitar, one guy and there's a guest vocalist on one of the tracks. As far as the guitar goes, its always inventive and has a giant arsenal of tricks to pull out to pull out, and they're all used brilliantly. Although, while they are all used well, they're also tricks you know well. If you closed your eyes and started to drift off, you could see quite a few other bands who do pretty much exactly the same thing. Not many bands, but enough for you to not have to strain too hard to give a name to what's going on. Saying that though, it is a different trick every time, used differently, and always perfectly in theme. In short, its what you know, but its done the best way you could think of to do it, and you don't see it coming. And when it gets here, its always good.
Lyrics — 8
The first thing you'll notice is that the singer isn't some clueless indie brat with a cold, or the guy who runs the bombed out shop on the corner with a throat that looks like a punctured water balloon. On the contrary, its really good. It beats alot of other indie producers who sound drunk or bored, the vocals here actually sound happy. The main vocals all have their unique style, with a great sense of rhythm that makes it feel like its part of the guitar track itself. The guest vocals on "Can't Stay This Way No More" fit perfectly into the song, not appearing out of nowhere for 20 seconds of chorus then vanishing into the never, but form part of the foundation of the song then come out into the open on their own, and then always remain there complimenting the main vocals. Its brilliantly done and one of the best songs on the album.
Overall Impression — 8
Its clear where its influences lie, but its intelligent enough to do something with them and create something new and original with it, and its great. My favorite song on the album is the upbeat "Bop Your Head", closely followed by "Can't Stay This Way No More", featuring the wonderful guest vocalist. If this was lost, well... The albums a free download anyway. If I had one complaint, the production quality and mixing can sometimes be a little off, and sometimes really off. Sometimes the guitar fades into the background with a dull sound, and sometimes its in the foreground with a really warm tone. I cut it slack as it's home recorded though. Overall, "Homegrown" is a great example of taking what you love, and putting your mind right into it to create something intelligent and enjoyable.