Samuel “Sam” Gas Can is often viewed as Massachusetts’ answer to the question: Daniel Johnston or Jad Fair?
Like those two vaunted talents, “Sam” has a dab hand with creating instantly memorable pop hooks that manage to glow with outside energy even as they rub your (figurative) shoulders. On this single, Sam joins up with some old running mates from Worcester to create an off-kilter roots-pop exploration of the connections between Sesame Street’s Ernest and Fecal Matter’s Kurtis.
Both are presented as excellent neighbors, and this message is driven home with exceedingly peppy arrangements that feature harmony vocals, tooting saxophone and a rather out-of-time musical focus. Sounds kinda crazy, I know, but the tunes are as addictive as watching a sped-up home movie of Jonathan Richman with his hair greased up, jumping into a swimming pool full of shaving cream.
There’s just something about it that mesmerizes.
-Byron Coley, 2018