All is not complete doom and gloom on this disc, though. Another album high point is Pfeifer’s sax-fueled “Book on Looks,” a full-bodied bragfest with the singer rhapsodizing about how hot his girlfriend is — even as he chastises his friends for their “locker room talk.” It’s a surprisingly playful moment in a predominately pessimistic take on modern romance.
Sparely produced by sometime bassist Paul Harmann, Hangar favors an Exiles on Main Street readiness to bury its vocals within Pfeifer and Marcarian’s compelling guitar and keyboard work. I’ve been listening to this platter since its initial release as a Faulty Products long-player, and there are still moments when I don’t know what the hell its singers are saying. Still, the band’s sound is so solid and compelling that even when you don’t get the specifics, you get the point.
In addition to the album’s original ten tracks, Bar/None’s reissue also features eleven more tracks that will get the group’s admirers wishing that the trio’d been able to hold it together long enough for a second polished studio disc. The band’s sound expands over the four years repped on these tracks: from sixties-ish dance rock (“Shake It Boys”) to country (“Always Lonely for You”) to a song that wouldn’t sound out of place on a John Hughes movie (“A Lot of Things”). But in a way thoughts about What Might’ve Been are apt for this band — since you know their songs' protagonists are spending much of their days and nights pondering that same unanswerable question.