Back to Nebraska (EP)

Letters To Cleo

Independent release, 2016

REVIEW BY: Pete Crigler


Best known for ’90s jams like “Here And Now” and “Awake,” Letters To Cleo has returned with their first new music in at least seventeen years. Returning with 4/5ths of the original lineup (only bassist Scott Riebling is missing), the band has made a record that is sure to please longtime fans.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

By marking their return with only five songs, it gives the listener a chance to get back in the Cleo swing of things. And for non-fans, it gives them a chance to find a couple of decent songs that really stick out for them. Of the five, only the opener “Can’t Say” is a clear standout here, one of the most exciting songs in their catalogue and loaded with sheer energy. It’s not just good for a reunited ‘90s band; it’s just generally good all-around.

However, the other tracks on this disc are just okay; there is nothing really earth shattering about any of them. The title track is a good slow-burner of a number that really showcases Kay Hanley’s vocals. “Hitch A Ride” is just another okay song, though again, not spectacular. Nevertheless, throughout the five songs on this release, drummer Stacy Jones and lead guitarist Michael Eisenstein really showoff what impressive musicians they are.

“Four Leaf Clover” is another decent track, yet it was still something I couldn’t really sink my teeth into. I was never a gigantic Cleo fan, but I could always appreciate what they brought to the ‘90s alt rock landscape. Still, for longtime fans (like a good friend of mine who still loves that second record of theirs), this is a perfect collection of songs that will remind them why they always loved this band from the get-go.

What needs to happen next year is a tour that features Veruca Salt, Belly, Letters To Cleo, and either Juliana Hatfield 3 or L7: a great ’90s tour featuring all female-led bands, sort of the anti-Lilith Fair. Now that would be something to see.

Rating: B-

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