Tom LoMacchio - Five Years Later
Linkwork Records

Tom LoMacchio has been kicking around the scene for quite some time now,
only to have finally decided to write, record, and perform under his given
moniker recently.  Most notably, he was the singer for early 90s emo
band Plunger and man behind the project known as the Deadwood Divine.
Funny thing is, the Deadwood Divine is Tom Lomacchio is the Deadwood
Divine; why I choose to separate them is the important thing.

Since the release of the "To Wander and to Fade" 7" earlier this year, Tom has shed the Deadwood name and began to release under his name. It was quite obvious that much more had changed as well. The 7" was just the start, the first inkling at the musical maturation Tom has apparently gone through. While the songs on the new album carry on the progression, they are infinitely more realized and full here. While at the heart, this is still an acoustic guitar driven solo project, it has become so much more than just that. Gone is the vague hardcore aesthetic and overly strained vocal style. It's not that those weren't endearing and unique in their own right, but at the core they were basically extensions of his former band. Note this though: I thoroughly enjoy all of his past work and own all of his records; this just seems to be the first full break from his past work. Instead of the songs relying almost exclusively on his (more than adept and apparently classically trained) guitar playing, he's generously added piano and string arrangements on most, if not all, of the songs. The songs have become more satisfying, engaging, and layered. His vocal style has undergone a massive transformation as well. Whereas he used to strain for each note (missing more than hitting them) he has smoothed it out and now sounds not all that different than Stuart Murdoch of Belle and Sebastian (who sounds like Nick Drake [who Tom Lomacchio almost always gets compared to now {who I don't know well enough to make generalizations with}]). In effect, the name change has come to mean a complete directional change. While I do enjoy his older material to some degree, it's had to argue against the maturity, depth, and power of this album. if you enjoy pretty, folky singer/songwriter type stuff, do yourself a favor and pick this up.
...david smith...

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