It’s hard to get overly critical of an album that’s intended more as a fundraising item than an artistic statement, so allow me to mention first that Brent “Fathead” DeBoer’s first solo offering is being released to provide financial assistance to the Oregon Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.
DeBoer is better known as the well-maned drummer for the Dandy Warhols, and The Farmer is an extended-play collection of material that he’s been working on with Dandy’s colorist Brian Coates for several years. At Coates’ urging, DeBoer released The Farmer to help with the MS cause, a condition that is unfortunately close to Brent’s home as his father suffers from the autoimmune disease.
There’s little Dandy’s resemblance in The Farmer, which sticks to skeletal sketches of acoustic guitars and high-hat metronomes. DeBoer, who does lend a voice to some of the Dandy’s own material, finds himself in front in this 8-song collection with Coates providing a little bit of psychedelic layering underneath.
DeBoer’s vocals—whether intentionally or not—don’t stand out much, sticking with the same timid and breathy vocal throughout The Farmer. There’s very little character as a result, leaving the e.p. as a Dandy fan curio instead of a proper consideration for your attention.
“Sick Of Where I’ve Been” is the high point here, with the potential for real development if that’s the intention down the road. But the rest of The Farmer shows that DeBoer doesn’t have many songs to suggest he’s sitting on a bumper crop of material for future solo endeavors.
Video: Brent DeBoer – “You Win”