Jim Santo's Demo Universe

Joel Mullins - Yar's Revenge

Mullins' heart is in the right place but this is an awfully dull record. Not annoying or offensive, just blah. Relaxed to the edge of slumber, Joel sings his slow, wistful, folky tunes in a soft, neurasthenic voice, like someone too tired to get out of bed. On one tune, the aptly named "Drained," Mullins doesn't even muster the strength to sing, instead whispering his lyrics. However, the overall effect of Yar's Revenge is more numbing than depressing. The only halfway effective track is the last one: "Future," a dreamy number with pretty harmonies that bears a faint resemblance to Brian Wilson's more melancholy moments.

CD received February 3, 1999