PERMANENT GREEN LIGHT - Against Nature

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1993 release. "4 1/2 stars. Permanent Green Light's second (and, as it would turn out, final) album highlights both the strengths and the weaknesses hinted at on their self-titled debut. Unfortunately, although it seems cruel to say it so baldly, the band's strength is Michael Quercio and its weakness is Matt Devine. The two singer/songwriters, who take a more equal division of labor than they had on the Quercio-dominated debut, have similarly winsome songwriting styles, but Devine's characterless voice is thin and insubstantial (especially compared to Quercio's love-it-or-hate-it vocal style) and his songs, while catchy enough, don't have the strong melodies or intriguingly quirky lyrics of Quercio's. That said, it must be noted that the best tracks, the gloriously lovely "You and I Are the Summertime" and the profoundly odd but really wonderful "Wintertime's A-Comin', Martha Raye," are both collaborations. Perhaps that's how the group should have evolved, but, unfortunately, Permanent Green Light only managed one more single, 1995's "Angela Davis Eyes," before splintering.