MJ LENDERMAN – ” Boat Songs “

Posted: December 1, 2022 in MUSIC

On the eminently relatable-to-me “Boat Songs“, Ashville, North Carolina’s MJ Lenderman sings about Jackass, various sports legends (Jordan, Brady, and Marino all get shouts here), and the fucking log ride and the spinning swings at Six Flags Over Texas, all the while managing to make things feel warm, alternately poignant and funny, and deeply affecting. Like our other current guitar heroes Enumclaw, Lenderman has a gift for making easy, seemingly tossed-off jams feel like heart-on-sleeve anthems that you’ve known forever.

MJ Lenderman plays guitar in the great Asheville, North Carolina band Wednesday (see their must-hear covers EP from this year, “Mowing the Leaves Instead of Piling ‘Em Up”. On “Boat Songs” he’s a self-described “beat-down rodeo clown” whose neo-miserablist everybro mien brings to mind the Neil Young of Zuma if he was a Southern fisher-dude who had a few too many strong, drunk opinions about college football coaching hires. The mosquito-bitten “You Have Bought Yourself a Boat” sounds like the Band if they recorded for Drag City, while “Tastes Just Like It Costs” is a zen mountain of stanky lo-fi guitar slop.

The best song is “Hangover Game,” which uses Game Five of the 1997 NBA finals as a lens to explore the way our lives can merge with our most cherished myths in ways that are kind of fucked up. 

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