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Anthony Carew

Introducing: Mac DeMarco

By April 3, 2012

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Name: Mac DeMarco
From: Montréal, Québec
Story: Ariel Pink acolyte with a denim fetish
Sound: Bluesy jukebox platitudes perverted by strange tape sonics

Mac DeMarco's debut record is called Rock and Roll Night Club, and as the title suggests, it's a record filled with the totems of rock mythology. It starts with the wardrobe: "Baby's Wearing Blue Jeans" is as literal a lyrical study as its title suggests ("wash-and-wear-'em Wranglers... straight leg or a boot cut"), and "I'm a Man" dons the very same ("a pair of Levi's jeans/you know what I mean"); making for twin feminine/masculine studies in the wearing of denim.

Like fellow Canadian Dirty Beaches, DeMarco —who hails from Montréal via Vancouver via Edmonton— adopts a nth-generation greaser shtick, the old archetypes of jukebox Americana recreated in deliberately dusty, wobbly, washed-out, degraded sounds to play up that exhumation of the old.

That means that DeMarco is, indeed, the latest Ariel Pink acolyte to arise, ensconced under a safety blanket of tape-sheen. But DeMarco also learns a lesson from Pink that many forget: he writes really good songs. Which makes the pleasingly-slight Rock and Roll Night Club —just 32 minutes long— an enjoyable if kinda-disposable spin.


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