Release Date: Mar 27, 2012
Record label: Mexican Summer
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock
The most arresting thing about Mike Wexler’s Mexican Summer debut is just how much it sounds like Kentucky’s The For Carnation, the band Brian McMahan and David Pajo formed post-Slint. For the uninitiated, TFC dealt in the most insidiously evil, elegiac doom you may ever hear. A promised work indeed. Vocally, Wexler occupies ground between McMahan and Nick Drake, conjuring Drake’s mournful, bucolic acoustic tones amid shades of Pink Floyd-shaded folk.
Brooklyn Singer-songwriter Mike Wexler has one of those voices you never forget. It's at once nasal and deeply resonant, and it buzzes kind of like a vibrating string. Part of the pleasure of listening to his Mexican Summer debut is simply getting the opportunity to sit for a while with the natural, androgynous byproduct of air funneling up his throat.
Mike Wexler may not be of this time, or any other, for that matter. Dispossession, Wexler’s second full-length and his Mexican Summer debut, is definitely a “Where did this thing come from?” type of record. And though the answer is obviously not as peculiar or interesting as you might desire, for a record as utterly enigmatic and transient as Dispossession, more occult conclusions could also be argued.
The air of gentle psych rock drift that Mike Wexler's 2012 album Dispossession has from the start certainly doesn't make any effort to be anything else: drawn-out airy keyboards straight from Sonic Boom's first solo effort, easygoing grooves, soft whispered vocals. No surprise, then, that the second song on the album is called "Spectrum," which might as well be an overt tip of the hat to the former Spacemen 3 co-leader. But the nice thing about Dispossession, regardless of some initially obvious roots, is that it's just accomplished enough as an amalgam -- not entirely groundbreaking but definitely enjoyable as a collective reworking of impulses, with Wexler and a variety of guest players creating an enjoyable little treasure in its own right.
Mike Wexler is a bit of an enigma. Give the Brooklyn chamber folk meastro a Google search and the second listing that comes up is his Facebook fan page, where he has 360 likes to date. You’ll also find a thoroughly entertaining interview with him featuring enlightening back and forths like “Got any strange/unusual talents? Yes.” So far, so boring but there’s good reason to stick with Dispossession.
Mike Wexler let us know right up front on his self-titled 2005 debut that he’d “Like To Solve The Puzzle” of existence. On his third LP and Mexican Summer debut, Dispossession, the Brooklyn singer/songwriter still hasn’t shaken those existential blues. He sings about the seen and the unseen, and where they intersect (“Spectrum,” “Lens”).