Families are fucked up. My mom’s been married four times, my dad died when I was 23, and most of my older relatives still talk to me like I’m a teenager, even though I’m now in my thirties — but I care about them all. Chances are, if you tried to summarize your family in a sentence, you’d come up with something just as chock-full of polarizing love and regret.
The new album from Mad Gregs, Relatives, presents a modest case of historical revisionism. Over the three years between this and 2008’s Big Nun, each of the tracks on Relatives was continually reworked and revised within the framework of chamber pop and late-70s soft rock, but the results are not overwrought. It was a labor of love, following inspiration rather than design, with the space to fix future mistakes as they happen. If only more relatives were this creative and forgiving.