A "SWIMMING TEST" FROM GERMANY
The following review appeared on Glitterhouse Records site in Germany (glitterhouse.com). Thanks to Beate Sissenich, Adam Langer & Lisa Beichl for their help with the translation.
This album consists of (roots) pop music that was recorded in the kitchen and mixed in the living room and which clearly has its roots in the mid-1960s and has absorbed some influences of the 1980s Hoboken Pop Revival. And: Music that sounds neither like do-it-yourself home improvement nor hopelessly outdated, but in fact unbelievably refreshing, intelligent, optimistic, demanding, highly musical, yet comes across as sensitive, subtle, and amazingly sublime. A totally great debut album with 13 absolutely and equally high-value songs that exude a very special power and grow and thrive each time you hear them again! McGarvey is not unknown among critics (but unfortunately only among them...) and is well liked because of his "correct" biography. Thus, McGarvey, who is actually a drummer, has had gigs in the NJ/NY area, for instance with Winter Hours, the Vipers, and Liquor GIants, then (as lead singer) founded the quintet Valentine Smith, which had no fewer than 3 albums in the 1990s. 'Tell your Mother', however, is the ultimate swimming test in McGarvey's career - music that brims with clever refrains, jingle-jangle guitars, soulful harmony vocals, feather-light rhythms (McGarvey plays cocktail drums on the entire album, standing up), and brilliant hooks. In perfect Hoboken tradition, the most appropriate comparison for me is with Richard Barone - in terms of voice, atmosphere, and the permanent string sounds way in the distance, but still present. Tiny Lights, Vulgar Boatmen, Ben Vaughn Combo, Freedy Johnston, Bobby Sutliff and Lu Bango have similarly left their traces here.