Star Maps

CD Cover Possum Dixon
MCA/Interscope Records

Review by P. Freako

40-second excerpt from "Radio Comets" (various formats)

Possum Dixon have been around for about six years now, and their latest effort, Star Maps, is a pop album supreme. I mean, we've got Farfisa organs and everything. This organ sound is a common thread running throughout the record to create mood and atmosphere (as well as some cool riffs on "Emergency's About To End"). With songs like "In Her Disco," "Party Tonight," and "Radio Comets," this isn't the most profound project on many levels, but what it does contain, however, is a slice of reality in everyday life.

It's the music behind their everyday tales that makes Possum Dixon uniquely significant. Unlike most pop bands today, they seem to have a good sense of negative space in that they can use empty space to accentuate their music and harmonies. They don't need to fill the "quiet times" with walls of guitars. Maybe they took painting lessons as kids.

Star Maps grows on you like a favourite wool sweater that just gets rattier and rattier, but you just don't wanna take it off. Combining softer, moodier material such as "Apartment Song" and "Personals" with more pop-rockish songs like "Crashing Your Planet" and "General Electric" (which contains a line I feel like telling my parents, "I'm not the same anymore, so why do you blame me for it?"), Possum Dixon provide a diverse album worth listening to again and again. Hey, with those organs, they can create that kind of mod go-go thing that would be just perfect for the upcoming Spider Man movie...

As an aside, I felt at times that Star Maps has kind of a weird beatnik-surfer feel to it, kinda like Dick Dale does the Vulcan mind meld on Bob Dylan. You have to close your eyes to imagine it and ride the vibes. I thought I was crazy thinking beatnik-surfer, until I read the CD jacket where the band lists a psychic advisor. Hmmm... Cool man, lead me to the stars.

First published in Drop-D Magazine on June 7, 1996

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