Sugar Head Pie
In his liner notes to Patches and Gretchen's 11-song sophomore stunner, Honeydogs leader Adam Levy writes: 'I don't think I'm going out on a ledge by arguing that Patches and Gretchen's 'Sugar Head Pie' is a freak-out folk-punk masterpiece. There are a few contenders: Pavement's 'Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain'; Syd Barrett's 'The Mad Cap Laughs'; maybe some solo Roky Erickson. If Lou Reed, Lucinda Williams and Chrissie Hynde had a lost weekend of debauchery and songwriting, it just might look like 'Sugar Head Pie.' ... The feel is classic but it's never looked or felt like this before. No whiskey bottles, no Pentecostal churches, honky-tonk barstools, preachers, or dirt roads - instead it's Sequoia and Trails of Tears, poisoned hot dishes, lonely trailer park moms, scab pickers, Minnesota lilac breezes, morphine gypsies in Sault Saint Marie." Levy's assessment is dead-on: It says here that the most hypnotic rock record of the new decade has been delivered by an ad-hoc Minneapolis punk outfit led by one Gretchen Seichrist, a 40-something single mom who sings, swears and spits her Dylanesque poems with an old-school mystique laced with modern-world damage. A timeless album, in other words, for all those who still believe in such revelations, but while it's roots invite comparisons (I hear 'Darkness on the Edge of Town,' 'Exile in Guyville,' 'Salesman and Racists,' 'Horses,' etc.), this is a post-nostalgia work that has it's own center, it's very own howl. Jim Walsh.