Fizzle Like A Flood

Golden Sand and the Grandstand

On Golden Sand and the Grandstand, Doug Kabourek's previously under-available 2000 debut as Fizzle Like A Flood, the lone, pajama'd maestro approaches his craft in a refreshing style that places it above the constant deluge of bedroom-based four-track pop "masterpieces."

Not only is this lo-fi ode to a defunct Omaha racetrack intertwined with the particulars of an intense but brief courtship in a reverse Slaughterhouse Five chronology, but it's freewheelingly catchy, bittersweet, and clocks in at a manageable 26 minutes.

Kabourek milks sepia-toned drama from every instrumentally pregnant second. "Can shadows make a sound?" he wonders in a multitracked, Beach Boys harmony on opener "Shadows" as somber pianos plod and ghosts clink glasses and cackle greedily. "A Dance with the Dozer" smashes Guided By Voices and the Cars together into a giddy, keyboard-strewn whirlpool of indie pop — incongruous decoration for an account of the track's last day of operation.

On "Believe in Being Barefoot," crickets chirp as our protagonist (who sounds like Graham Smith on a rare good day) and his girlfriend sneak into the grandstand to watch the sun rise; the portentous, triumphant vibe here is tempered by the listener's foreknowledge that destiny will eventually place her in someone else's arms, a la the winsome, Lou Barlow-fronts-Pavement rock of "Again This Summer." Golden Sand's accomplishment is that it makes you feel — and want to re-experience — these narrative highs and lows as deeply as any of its vaguely defined characters do.