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Charles Douglas – Statecraft

An accessible, melodically vivacious primer for those yet to sample the surreal guy-done-wrong repertoire of Douglas (practically everybody, then). On Statecraft, this unsung New York heir to the geekdom of Jonathan Richman benefits from the fret-pizzazz of Joey Santiago. These 16 tracks bring a Daniel Johnston-style kookiness to post-OJ Edwyn funk (“Splitting The Atom”), Pinky Blue-era Altered Images (“Close To Me”) and, with “Free At Last”, the year’s best punk-pop riff this side of Graham Coxon’s “Freakin’ Out”.