The first album by San Francisco's Donner Party
is a joyous tribute to folk and pre-alternative rock delivered in a naive style recalling Jonathan Richman
and Daniel Johnston
. Chief songwriter, guitarist and vocalist Sam Coomes
had a stunning flair for capturing the most bizarre subjects and turning them into finely crafted pop without drowning in his own eccentricities. Yet, the band plays in a somewhat primitive style and though not accomplished, they are completely endearing, particularly on the tracks "Godlike Porpoise Head of Blue-Eyed Mary" and "The Owl of Minerva."