Fred Thomas ‎– All Are Saved

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Tracklist

Every Song Sung To A Dog 3:53
When They Built The Schools 3:33
July 1:37
Cops Don't Care Pt. II 1:47
Monster Movie 3:27
Bad Blood 4:10
Unfading Flower 3:26
Bed Bugs 5:04
Expo '87 2:31
Thesis (Lear) 2:42
Doggie 6:57

Versions (5)

Cat# Artist Title (Format) Label Cat# Country Year
PRC 296 Fred Thomas All Are Saved(LP, Album, Cle) Polyvinyl Record Company PRC 296 2015 Sell This Version
none Fred Thomas All Are Saved(11xFile, FLAC) Polyvinyl Record Company none 2015
PRC 296, PRC-296, PRC-296CD Fred Thomas All Are Saved(CD, Album) Polyvinyl Record Company, Polyvinyl Record Company, Polyvinyl Record Company PRC 296, PRC-296, PRC-296CD 2015 Sell This Version
PRC 296 Fred Thomas All Are Saved(Cass, Album) Polyvinyl Record Company PRC 296 US 2015 Sell This Version
PRC-296 Fred Thomas All Are Saved(LP, Ltd, Clo) Polyvinyl Record Company PRC-296 US 2015 Sell This Version

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ajfenwick

ajfenwick

May 8, 2015
referencing All Are Saved, LP, Album, Cle, PRC 296
In spite of the fact that All Are Saved is his eighth official release, Michigan songwriter Fred Thomas has largely flown under the radar – eschewing the established pathways of the traditional music business and instead choosing to self-release a bunch of CDRs and cassettes on his own terms.

The themes of longing, hopelessness, resistance, confusion and hurt, however, remain on his debut for Polyvinyl Records, with Thomas’ heavily confessional words shot through with hazy production and softly-spoken lyrics more spoken than sung.

After months of isolation – and more than a little introspective soul-searching – All Are Saved was crafted between Detroit, Michigan and Athens, Georgia with mixing duties handled by Drew Vandenburg, best known for his work with label-mates, of Montreal and Deerhunter.

Through an uneven patchwork of recycled samples, vintage synths and heavy distortion, the album opens with Every Song Sung to a Dog, a track Thomas admits was written when “the end was looming.” With his dying dog Kuma as his muse, Thomas earnestly ponders the unpredictably of death and the fallacy of eternity while also reminiscing on the time he “smashed my first flip-phone on some piss-soaked alley floor corridor.”

The fragmented snapshots of daily life continue on When They Built The Schools, a spoken-word reading over heavily multi-tracked guitars that recalls David Berman’s Silver Jews at their gimlet-eyed best before seguing into the instrumental electronica and synthesized brass of July.

Despite Thomas’ almost deadpan delivery, there’s a definite sense throughout the album that the genie is about to exit the bottle. Expo ‘87, for example, begins with a muted melody before erupting in heavy guitar riffs, cascading drum patterns and ramshackle orchestration, while Doggie’s de-tuned guitars similarly build into a flurry of discordant feedback.

Bad Blood, meanwhile, is the track that will be shouted back from the stands the loudest; a gloating, synth-led kiss-off to the people who seemingly wronged our impassioned protagonist.

Throughout All Are Saved’s constantly changing tones and tempos, though, Thomas is undoubtedly at his best when his glittering self-awareness is in full flow. Album highlight Bed Bugs is the prime example of this; a nostalgic and highly confessional acoustic jam that sees Thomas making – or at least attempting to make – peace with the inevitable fucking up of life’s best-laid plans.