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Steve Turner | Searching for Melody (Loose)
Mudhoney guitarist Turner plays acoustic troubadour and roots rocker on this solo debut with unconvincing results. Formulaic and uninspired, much of 'Searching for Melody' fails in its task, instead content to follow in much-trodden footsteps, relying on pick-up band 'dynamics' and uninspired lyrics (song titles like Nothing But The Blues, I Want You In My Arms and Last Call pretty much give the game away). What might cut it onstage for beered-up bikers just doesn't convince on record, Turner's bland delivery adding to the mind-numbing anonymity of the material here. When he tries to break the formula on the sparse Sometimes I'm Wrong he ends up in a cul-de-sac with nowhere to go but into another plodding dirge, this time the well-intentioned Nothing But The Blues, where he laments lost friends with some pedestrian blues licks. The gringe-worthy I'm 37 is an eccentric, old-school drum machine and treated guitar oddity that's both contrary and consistent with the rest of this album's naffness. Special mention needs be made of Last Call, the closing a capella ode to drinking. If ever there was a case for the AA, this was it.

Matt Dornan
CWAS #12 - Summer 2003