Saturday Looks Good To Me
Polyvinyl Records, 2012
Review by Kent Manthie
Michigan-based band Saturday Looks Good To Me is an “experimental/indie-pop” band that has been around since 2000. Frontman/Singer/Songwriter/Producer Fred Thomas, formerly of His Name Is Alive, Lovesick and Flashpapr is the driving force behind SLGTM, writing the songs, arranging their music and engineering their style and outlook, creating intricate soundscapes that hearken back to “Detroit Soul” (i.e., Motown/TAMLA)
Originally, SLGTM was started as a basement recording project, just some kids messing around, up until 2002, when they started getting noticed by playing live shows around the Motor City. On the back of their touring project, they built up a cult following, which was sealed on wax in the form of numerous 7” singles and even some DIY homemade CD-R releases (mostly sold, no doubt, at their live shows).
Eventually, all this touring and their various 7” singles, combined with their staunch cult following, resulted in their being signed to Chicago’s legendary Polyvinyl Records. The first CD they recorded for Polyvinyl was All Your Summer Songs and the more “polished” sounding Every Night, released in 2003 and 2004, respectively. Every Night was the album that brought into the band their new, female singer, Betty Marie Barnes, who stayed until 2007, making her the longest-staying female singer of the band. Unfortunately, though, Ms. Barnes went her own way in 2007, leaving mainman, Fred Thomas to take over as the one and only lead singer in the band. By then SLGTM’s music was also evolving as well, which was evident on 2007’s Fill up the Room, which was released on K-Records. Fill up the Room was, musically, more experimental and exploratory then their previous two full-length CDs, which is evident on the nearly 7 minute pop whirlwind, “When I Lose My Eyes”.
After their 2008 European tour, Thomas “retired” the band in order to concentrate on other projects that he had brewing at the time, such as City Center and the record label he founded, Life Like. But for the hardcore fan, on Record Store Day 2012, All Your Summer Songs was re-issued on white vinyl in a special limited edition of 250.
The “Sunglasses” CD single is what we have for right now to groove to from this re-emerging blissful pop band which just disappeared in 2008, because of Fred’s aforementioned focusing on his other projects. But don’t despair, hardcore fans, there is both a new lead (or is it co-lead?) singer, Carol Catherine, whose sexy, smoky vocals seem to slither all over this synth-tinged song (“Sunglasses”). So, watch out for Thomas, Catherine and the rest of SLGTM to come back with a full-length CD of brand new tunes. After a four-year absence, it’s good to have these guys back!
Their fifth as-yet-untitled CD of new material is no rumor, it is in the works right now and as soon as I get it, I will go through the album and deconstruct it so as to enlighten you on its worth. But for now, just be happy with these 2 new songs: think of them as something to tide you over until the next full-length CD comes out in 2013. Happy Listening…KM.