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Eef Barzelay: Lose Big

B-

Eef Barzelay

Album: Lose Big
Label: 429 Records

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Eef

Barzelay's first album since he officially scrapped his long-running band, Clem

Snide, bears little relation to his first solo disc, the pared-down Bitter

Honey
.

This one's a full-band affair, which is a bit of a shame: Alone, Barzelay

sounds more pleasurably, well, bitter. "Girls Don't Care" is pretty, its lazy

jangle harkening to the best of '90s college-rock, but Barzelay's assault is

equal parts silly. ("The girls don't care that you ache to be free") and sap

("The girls just want a sweet melody.") The lengthy wailer "True Freedom" is

pure miss: Barzelay's voice with minimal musical backing has never been his

strongest point. The minor apocalypses are better: The opening Merge-rock

crunch of "Could Be Worse" and the ever-present agnostic angst of "Apocalyptic

Friend" work great. Better still are the bonus Clem Snide tracks at the end:

the unreleased "Me No," from a scrapped album, and relative chestnut "I Love

The Unknown." Both tracks are reminders of the acerbic but not overwrought

voice Barzelay once had a firmer grasp on.