While we await a day, someday when singer/bassist Paul Chastain and drummer Ric Menck's association (they're still in Matthew Sweet's band) produces a seventh Velvet Crush LP, you couldn't expect a better new work: The Small Square is a newer duo, Chastain working with fellow old Champaign, IL drummer/bastion John L. Richardson (Shoes, Three Hour Tour, Gin Blossoms, Tommy Keene, Robert Pollard, etc.), producing a poptastic treat in the vein of the last three VC LPs, 1999's Heavy Changes, 2004's Stereo Blues, and especially 2002's Soft Sounds. It tickles Chastain's fancies, of lighter Big Star power-pop dovetailing into '60s/'70s Byrds/Burritos/Buffalo Springfield connections - Mid-to-slow tempo soft psych, canyon rock, and nascent Parsons/Gene Clark country rock, amidst Crush-style caterwauling rockers. (There're four; "Otherwhile" and "Wild Chump" rip mighty good.) Add more straight folk ("SML") and you have another splendid outing from a master.
Jack Rabid, THE BIG TAKEOVER
The songwriting duo of Paul Chastain (Velvet Crush) and John L. Richardson (Gin Blossoms) recently released their debut album as The Small Square. It features some guests from such bands as Badfinger, Ryan Adams and Matthew Sweet to name a few. The new eleven-song release is folk/rock gold, beginning with the acoustic strumming of "So Low" as their warming vocals and laid back vibe puts your nerves at ease. They pick the tempo up, but only slightly for the more rock oriented "Dream Faker (Open Your Heart)," but find the perfect balance with the smooth harmonizing of "Enough To Know." The Small Square have a hit single with "Otherwhile," which has a great classic sound that is highly addictive. The album closes with the quick-paced, up-beat rocker "Wild Chump" and the experimental, country-rock vibe of "The Trip." To find out more about The Small Square and their self-titled debut release, please visit smallsquaremusic.com.
POSTED BY JP'S MUSIC BLOG
Debut release from duo with roots in Champaign, Illinois plus Wisconsin & Japan who play warm, embracing pop melodies with mesmerizing, uplifting hooks and perfectly matched vocal harmonies. These are the kind of quietly subtle & pure pop songs that you want to wallow in, can’t get enough of. The songwriting and production both shine with an effortless, natural glow. Guitars are occasionally cranked up to provide a taste of power pop heaven. Members have played with Velvet Crush, Tommy Keene, New Ruins, Matthew Sweet, Unbunny, others. Guest contributors include members from Badfinger, Son Volt & Whiskeytown. The music recalls bands like Teenage Fan Club, Nada Surf, the Beatles, Sloan, Tommy Keene, Nic Hessler. The Small Square have opened a portal to a world where pop music reigns supreme. It’s a good place to be. Recommended.
Charlie Quaker , The Quaker Goes Deaf
Paul Chastain and John L. Richardson continue their trip into the vagueness of the american rock-land, wearing their typical outfit.
AlbumOfTheYear.org , User tha138
The Small Square-The Small Square. ... you may not know The Small Square. But you probably do know the guys who make up the band, Paul Chastain, the primary creative force behind Velvet Crush, and John L. Richardson who's played and worked with Tommy Keene, Gin Blossoms, and Joey Molland/Badfinger. It's been over a decade since the last Velvet Crush album but this album will fill the VC-sized hole in your collection, if not your heart. There's plenty to enjoy here: The melodic midtempo opener "So Low", the Velvet Crush-like power pop of "Dream Faker (Open Your Heart)" and "Otherwhile", and the dreamy psych-pop of "Enough to Know". An excellent collection, and another power popper back in the fold.
みんな大好きVelvet Crushのシンガー/ベーシスト/ソングライター Paul Chastainが、この秋、自身の最新ユニットThe Small Square（ザ・スモール・スクエア）でジャパンツアーを行うことが決定しました！
The Small SquareはPaulとJohn Richardsonによるユニット。Johnは1992年以降のTommy Keeneのアルバム群、Joey Molland 「The Pilgrim(1992年)」、Jay Bennett(ウィルコ)「The Palace at 4 A.M.(2002年)」、Gin Blossoms「No Chocolate Cake(2010年)」など数多くのレコーディングやツアーに引っ張りだこのベテラン・ドラマー で、1991年のBadfinger来日公演や2009年の Shoes来日公演の際には、メンバーとして来日も果たしています。
そしてタイトルにもある通り、今回のツアーにはギタリストとしてTommy keeneが参加!!!! 驚きとトキメキの初来日ですよっ。
彼らのデビューアルバム「The Small Square」は、6月24日に日本先行リリース。ヴェルクラの「Stereo Blues(2004年)」リリース以後、およそ10年の間にPaulが書きためてきた、まさにエヴァーグリーンな胸キュン＆胸熱チューンがぎっしり詰まっています。