Philip E. Karnats

In any other city, this review might fall into the cracks--in fact, it'd deserve to. Pleasesuite is not a disc that grabs, throttles or even pinches, and that quality is precisely what makes it fit so well in a Dallasite's CD player. Philip E. Karnats, now a Chicago resident, did his time in Big D with acts like Bobgoblin and Tripping Daisy in the '90s. Years later, his friends at Good Records Recordings are pushing years of his four-track experiments and pop attempts in CD form, and after a listen, it's easy to assume that former Daisy (and GRR owner) Tim DeLaughter urged Karnats to release something that was never intended for distribution. Not that there's nothing catchy here--opener "Too Much to Chew" is a Mellow Gold-style popper, but its simple break beat puts too much focus on the lame, almost-rapped lyrics: "Won't sleep, one eye's open all the way/Won't speak, there's really nothing left to say." The rest of the album fares better. Most of the songs are mescaline-dosed bedroom-psych-pop, reflecting heavily on Karnats' '90s work with TD and members of the Secret Machines, though livelier shades of the Wrens and the Rentals peer through the smoky periscope on tracks like "Early Bird Cartoons" and "Iggy's Protégé." Those nostalgic for local music will gush over this template of Karnats' prog, punk and synth-pop inspirations, but as with most four-track rarity collections, the true hooks are hidden in the creator's imagination rather than loosed onto tape for the rest of us to latch onto.

--Sam Machkovech