FARMER DAVE SCHER: FLASH FORWARD TO THE GOOD TIMES
Somehow Farmer Dave found time to conjure up a solo album amid his time playing with Jenny Lewis, Interpol and a host of other fine acts. (And is he still selling those delicious Hot Nuts?) The man is in demand, but it’s been too long since he’s shared his own kaleidoscopic musical visions with the world. All Night Radio’s 2004 debut Spirit Stereo Frequency was a seemingly overlooked masterpiece, but the duo of Farmer Dave and Jimi Hey called it quits shortly after the album’s release. Fans of that psych-pop jamboree and the cosmic country-rock of Farmer Dave’s previous band Beachwood Sparks will find plenty in which to indulge in on Flash Forward to the Good Times. The twangy title track is awash in a familiar blend of pedal steel and organ. As was the case with the All Night Radio album, Farmer Dave’s Zombies penchant is apparent here. “Our Love is a Wave” is an unabashed ode to, yes, love that recalls Odessey & Oracle’s “Friends of Mine.” The soaring chorus boasts a lyric that could be written off as total cheese, but it’s just too perfect: “Our love is a wave that we ride together / into the sunset of our days.” “Finnz Hammock” is an irresistible hoedown that could pass for a Beachwood Sparks rarity. But Flash Forward isn’t a rehash of Farmer Dave’s past. He tries out some unexpected styles—with mixed results. “You Pick Me Up” sounds like he’s fronting local tokers Future Pigeon. It’s some decent dub, but Farmer Dave’s vocals sound strained and awkward. On the other hand, “We Have a Way” goes for a Motown vibe and pulls it off. You could imagine K-EARTH 101 playing the hell out of it if it were more polished and recorded 40 years ago.
— Thomas McMahon