York Blvd.'s sorcery starts off with a drowsy incantation that ensures "Things Are Gonna Be Alright," coasting down the road at ten miles per hour as it soaks in endless blue sky over a dusty plain. Bassist Richie Lee's wistfully whispering voice, drummer Steve Hadley's cowpoke trot, and Lightcap's fine fretwork support lyrics that yearn for something bigger but remain glued to the ground. Lee's indictment of scenester mentality, "Wonderful World," floats like a cirrus cloud and features a nipping guitar, an affected lead vocal, and a Beach Boyshopelessly-lost-in-the-desert chorus as it delivers a kiss-off to a too-cool-for-school former friend. The down-home, troubled sound of "Like I Told You" opens the throttle a little, with its highway six-string, slightly sinister vocals, and sneaky beat.
But just when you're ready to file Acetone under Least Likely to Break a Sweat, enter the snarly "It's a Lie." A classic-rock slow creep builds before dropping into a kick-you-in-the-teeth jam worthy of a duel with the James gang. This is dirty-fightin' guitar and strong-backed rhythm, but the brawling is nicely augmented by vocal harmonies that smile like a winsome tough guy you can't help loving.
Calling Acetone listless is like saying the desert all looks the same; if you listen closely to York Blvd., inertia never seemed so active. Like the band's esteemed L.A. forebears the Beach Boys and Gram Parsons, Acetone glides down Sunset Boulevard, casting spells with pocketfuls of sand and leaving behind the hazy memory of a cloudless dream.