Trouser Press on 27 Various:
Debuting as a flip pop-rock duo of singer-guitarist-songwriter Ed Ackerson and drummer Jed Mayer, Minneapolis' 27 Various used the magic of overdubbing to assemble a complete guitar-band sound on the amateurishly inventive Hi. Clever songs (the vituperative "Principal Percival" and "Tempermental Artist," the trippy "Venetian Blinds"), nice instrumental touches and a variety of styles (including droney mod psychedelia and Something Else-era Kinks) suggest witty possibilities but don't quite add up.
Jettisoning the first album's topical humor and haphazard approaches, the duo drafted two new members and planted their feet firmly in the '60s on the well-produced Yes, Indeed. With songs like "Feedtime for Martin" and "Stick It in and Bake It," the accomplished mix of lightweight garage psychedelia and offbeat Anglo-pop avoids overt nostalgia in favor of more intriguingly idiosyncratic designs.