As often happens in musical scenes, there are some individuals that find they can crossover from a musicians role to that of the producer / engineer. Raleigh Moncrief has done that successfully in his career and has become quite sought after in a variety of roles. Having played as touring guitarist with Marnie Stern, The Advantage and collaborating with Zach Hill, he found himself co-producing the 2009 Dirty Projectors acclaimed album - Bitte Orca.

When I found out his background I’d already been listening to Watered Lawn, and my initial reaction was that this seriously reminded me of Panda Bear, Animal Collective and Dirty Projectors. Now I’m in the know, that of course isn’t surprising at all. Although he’s captured many of the elements that really work for those other bands so well, I can’t say they all fit so well here. Much of it feels uncomfortably dislocated. That’s not to say there aren’t some lovely sounds because there are. The production is really interesting with many nice guitar parts, effects, clicks and distortions, nice panning and often very nice vocals but the issue is that within all of that what structure there is to the songs appears to get lost.

The catchiest track on the record is, in my opinion, ‘I Just Saw’, which could quite easily be a Panda Bear track. The rest of the album starts to grate slightly and although I find it interesting in an arty way, I can’t imagine listening to it over and over again.

The real problem here is that so much of this has been heard before within better written, better structured songs. Unfortunately sound production over substance can’t quite cut it in this case. I’ll still look forward to hearing the next album, but for now Moncrief hasn’t captured me enough.