Album review from Free Press Houston

 

Review from Free Press Houston

 

John Wesley Coleman III — Microwave Dreams

Every now and then you hear an album that restores your faith in the spirit of man, that imbues in it a sense of pride and victory. Microwave Dreams is that album for me. I was first introduced to Coleman when he opened for NOTS at Rudyard’s. I felt ashamed that such a jewel resided in my state and I was unaware of his light. “Watching my love become a mom and I am a father, too, turn off the TV and hit the bed, waking up at 7 AM, waking up on the couch again…” Who is this wordsmith? He knows my life and my struggle, and his rock and roll is my life. “Jesus Never Went To Junior High” is an instant classic, it is Buddy Holly, it is Credence Clearwater without the privilege: “Jesus never went to junior high, if he did I not notice, I was sitting on the back of the school bus eating all the acid.” It is America, it is youth, it is brilliance: “Everybody’s got some stories.” Fuck the red hats and the class division, we are all out here, living through the day, arguing about lunch choices, mad about our children’s disinterest in extracurricular activities and missed assignments, waiting in traffic, GPS signal lost, coffee stains on our shirts, selectively remembering our youth. John Wesley Coleman III is here, singing your blues, “dance with me, motherfucker.”

JWCIII SONG OF THE DAY!

KUTX 98.9 featuring “Hang Tight” as song of the day!!

Song of the Day

John Wesley Coleman III: “Hang Tight”

Photo by Gabriel Perez/KUTX

John Wesley Coleman III is an unlikely connecting dot between Austin’s various sounds. He’s a little bit country, a little bit soul, a little bit punk, and primarily rock and roll, doing his thing for close to three decades under a variety of guises. His thing now includes Microwave Dreams, something of a clearinghouse for all of his oddball charm. The title clues you into the low stakes, but the slacked-out songs only enhance Coleman’s DIY credo. “Hang Tight” sounds like a house party featuring Thin Lizzy as the live entertainment, knocking over the furniture with every windmilled power chord. Coleman makes this kind of meat-and-potatoes rock tasty again, and that’s exactly why he’s hanging tight after all these years.

“Hang Tight” appears on Microwave Dreams, out now. See Coleman try out his rock star moves in the song’s video.

–Art Levy // host, Sunday 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., producer, My KUTX

“Shovel” via Barrygruff Music Blog

Here’s a great write up about the new John Wesley Coleman III album, Microwave Dreams, and especially the opening track Shovel, via Barrygruff Music Blog

John Wesley Coleman III – ‘Shovel’

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Texas-bred John Wesley Coleman, a self-professed ‘trash poet’, has cultivated a rep as one of the most preeminent and distinct artists on the US indie scene, since the ’90s.

Arguably, he’s made his biggest splash with psych garage five-piece Golden Boys but that would be to do his solo work a great disservice. The latest instalment, new album Microwave Dreams, was released last month and it captures exactly what John Wesley Coleman III is all about.

Coleman’s songs boasts a canny knack for witty storytelling and turn of phrase, none-more-so than the album’s opener, ‘Shovel’. An impassioned stomper driven by scratchy guitars, fuzz, whirring alarm and steady backbeat, it finds a balance between frayed-cuff wit and earnest sentimentality. There’s a weariness to Coleman’s voice – disenchanted and tired – all he do is laugh at the ridiculousness of it all. It’s gritty, catchy and passionate, and imbued by a real devil-may-care attitude, it a wonderful intro to John Wesley Coleman III’s new record.

Surviving The Golden Age Review

Here’s a nice review via Surviving the Golden Age of the new John Wesley Coleman III LP Microwave Dreams

John Wesley Coleman III: Microwave Dreams

It may sound strange to call an album wherein the first song’s chorus is, “Dance with me, mother fucker”, a romance, but a romance is exactly what John Wesley Coleman III’s latest LP aims to be. On Microwave Dreams, Coleman’s eighth full-length, Austin’s ramshackle renaissance man delivers ten tracks that run the gamut from lo-fi rock ‘n’ roll to sweetly eccentric pop.

Microwave Dreams’ aforementioned opener, “Shovel”, kicks things off in fine form with pounding drums, gritty guitars, and a yo-yoing synth. An instantly catchy and upbeat number, “Shovel” finds Coleman singing in his rowdy, warbly Texas twang lyrics about how life can bury you, but as long as you have a shovel, you can always dig yourself out of your troubles and dance away your misery. Other highlights on the album’s first half include the raucous stomper “Hang Tight” as well as the humorous “Jesus Never Went to Junior High”, which manages to tack on a clever punchline that doubles as a nod to the allegorical “Footprints” poem.

The second half of Microwave Dreams begins with “Black Kite”, a short, peppy song that includes an intentionally clumsy guitar solo two thirds of the way in that carries the track to its inevitable end. More evidence as to the romance afoot on Microwave Dreams arrives in the form of “Exotic Tambourine”, in which Coleman reminisces about falling in love the night he played “Exotic Tambourine” with a special someone. The ballad “See You Tomorrow” provides a sad slide guitar accompanied by lovely acoustic plucking while Coleman sings in a near-whisper mournful lyrics about loneliness and longing. Microwave Dreams is concluded with the triumphant “We Care About Love”. The record’s appropriate capper utilizes a happy piano as well as an organ and horns to help bring home a near-ecstatic Coleman who repeats the song’s chorus until finally giving in to victorious, “Oohs.”

Song for song, Microwave Dreams is a definite step up from 2014’s The Love That You Own. While both albums would make decent jumping-on points for those unfamiliar with the artist, Microwave Dreams manages to be more eclectic than its predecessor stylistically without ever feeling inaccessible. John Wesley Coleman III wants you to fall in love with him. Microwave Dreams is his valentine to the world. So what are you waiting for? Get up and dance with him, mother fucker.

Rating: 8.0/10

Four Star Austin Chronicle Review

John Wesley Coleman III received a 4 star review for his new LP, Microwave Dreams, in the Austin Chronicle

John Wesley Coleman III

Microwave Dreams (Super Secret)

Texas Platters

When it comes to honing a singular, iconoclastic voice to peak potency, sometimes more is less. Raucous Golden Boys ringleader, Wes Coleman boasts a frayed-cuff soulfulness flowing forth with an abundance that risks undermining the degree to which he might otherwise be celebrated. Pared-down runtime, top-notch production, and souped-up arrangements, Microwave Dreams presents the singer-songwriter-guitarist in the best possible light. Ten songs evince not a single clunker, each varying angles of their author’s balance between ragged wit and earnest sentimentality. Beneath the shambling nature of his vocal and lyrical approach, Coleman’s strategic intuition for where to bend a note or turn a phrase imbues these songs with uncommon emotional gravity. Opening salvo “Shovel” seethes with Saturday night rock & roll liberation and implores, “Dance with me, motherfucker.” Pitting acoustic guitar against a cocktail beat, the melancholic “On the Couch Again” embodies heavy-lidded languor by leaving narrative holes in all the right places. Harrowing keyboard riff setting the tone, “Hang Tight” rails against adversity for all occasions with equal parts pragmatism and romance, while “Jesus Never Went to Junior High” tongue-in-cheeks Over the Edge-style adolescent drug culture. “Exotic Tambourine” bops like a Seventies power-pop tutorial before “We Care About Love” capstones the set with chugging barroom piano and unabashed heartfulness. While Microwave Dreams glints the same ambitious spirit that gave rise to the Band’s Music From Big Pink, Rolling Stones’ Sticky Fingers, and the Minutemen’s Double Nickels on the Dime, these touchstones get thoroughly subsumed into a fresh amalgam. Coleman’s singular voice remains the critical imprimatur throughout.

Glide Magazine review Microwave Dreams

Nice review via Glide Magazine of the new John Wesley Coleman III LP

 

John Wesley Coleman III Shines With Garage Roots Rock On ‘Microwave Dreams’ (ALBUM REVIEW)

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unnamed-2Rock and roll is best when any fucks to give are tossed out the window in favor of a groovy, carefree party. Austin musician John Wesley Coleman III has always showed a fierce determination to give no fucks at the core of his approach to music. This is a good thing and, most of the time, it results in some damn good rock and roll. Such is the case with his latest album Microwave Dreams, one of his finest efforts to date.

The album kicks off with a euphoric blast of drums and synth, letting you know that “Wes” Coleman is here to party. In his slacker drawl Coleman sings “Dance with me motherfucker”, giving us a pop nugget ideal for chugging cheap beer. The slacker vibe – one that was synonymous with Austin, Texas before it became overrun by traffic, condos, and tech bros – is frequently present throughout Microwave Dreams. The country-tinged “On the Couch Again” is a groovy little number while “Hang Tight” is a rowdy garage-glam rocker about hanging tight and hanging loose. “Jesus Never Went To Went To Junior High” is a high point of the album as Coleman shares his own oddball tale of taking acid on the back of a school bus accompanied by a tight guitar solo and Clarence Clemons-esque sax playing. “Scarecrow Smile” is a cacophony of guitar and drums while “Black Kite” and “Exotic Tambourine” are jubilant and freewheeling tunes, the latter of which finds Coleman tapping into vocals reminiscent of the Violent Femmes. Humor is peppered throughout Microwave Dreams, but one of the album’s finest moments and also its most sincere is the twangy “See You Tomorrow”, sang with a deep vocal that conveys Coleman’s love towards his significant other. The piano-driven closer “We Care About Love” is a reminder to us that Coleman isn’t pursuing his passion for money, but for the love of it. He is, after all, a workingman’s musician determined to make his garage roots rock and hopefully a few bucks on the side.

Compared to his previous work, the ironically titled Greatest Hits, Microwave Dreams finds John Wesley Coleman III in fine form. Not the least bit jaded, he channels fatherhood and feeling good into this collection of focused rock tunes. Not only are the songs on Microwave Dreams straight up good rock and roll, they are also honest and raw, showing us that Coleman is absolutely capable of crafting a gem of a record that’s as thoughtful as it is fun. By the end of these ten songs, many laced with humor, Coleman makes it clear he is approaching music with a renewed seriousness but still knows that giving zero fucks is most important.