- 1 GOLI
- 2 OCTOBER ACCORD
- 3 THE BROOKLYNS
- 4 LOS GOUTOS
- 5 DR. DK
- 6 VAT
- 7 THE SECULAR VOICES OF HEAVEN’S HORIZON
- 8 MARTY NESTOR & THE BLACKJACKS
- 9 41 PROSPECT
- 10 GUERRILLA TOSS
- 11 ANDREW MARTIN
- 12 FERAL JENNY
- 13 ROBERT BUSHINSKY
- 14 ILANA KATZ KATZ
- 15 DEVIL ON HORSEBACK
- 16 THE HAMMOND GROUP
- 17 INFUSION EVOLUTION
- 18 WAYLON SPEED
- 19 BURKE’S LAW
- 20 NEW YORK ELECTRIC PIANO
- 21 PAVLOV’S DOGS
- 22 ANTHONY GERACI & THE BOSTON BLUES ALL-STARS
- 23 ERIC HOURDE
- 24 Related
This is Not a Love Song
By golly, Goli has finally released their second album, seven years after their wonderful debut. That’s a lot of time to reflect and ponder the next step. Not that they’ve been idle – constant gigs, busking, session work, graduate studies at New England Conservatory, time spent with family and friends – which adds up to a lot of living to invest in their new material. And eureka, this disc is even more stunning than could be expected. Their playing is tighter and more disciplined (more academic?!) as Vessela Stoyanova’s magical marimba technique spins out an array of tones and colors against Valerie Thompson’s deep rich cello accompaniment and wry vocals. This disc really plays up the disjointed mind games that she delves in – incisive, contradictory, fluid, flummoxed tunes that have swagger, sway, and sumptuous melodies. Yes indeed, she still has that wacky adult wit, singing about her personal hang-ups, romantic failures, facing the void, and other self-deprecating adventures. Major kudos to producer Peter Moore for seeing a bigger picture and bringing in other instrumentalists and singers to enhance their chamber-style vibrancy. Some fab songs here: “Greatest Mistake,” “You,” “Alone,” “Nihilist Love Song,” “So Perfect,” “Mystery to Me” (“Love and death are accidents waiting to prove true/ And if I die before I love – now what’s this gonna do…/ Will you remember my body kindly?”), and “Four Chord” – holy smokes, a rocker! As they have entered a second stage of development, there is no lack of musical confidence in their approach. Charming and irresistible, Valerie and Vessela-as-Goli are the new Dynamic Duo and a must-see! (Harry C. Tuniese)
Cheapshot of the Year
What are we gonna sit here in 2015 and argue about what punk is? There’s no point, global warming is gonna kill us all in three or four years so worrying about whether this “pop-punk” band from southern Massachusetts ever heard, like, Discharge or Deep Wound or Bloody Mess and the Skabs or whatever you consider real punk is pretty moot at this late hour. I mean realistically you’d have to have some fucking hole in your head to consider any moment of this record punk, but again, let’s just move on while there’s still time. Although maybe punk means something different if you’re, say, 19 years old in 2015. You’d probably think Jello Biafra was just some old crank. Actually, I thought that in 1986, nevermind. So, anyway, this record. It’s an EP. If you like hooded sweatshirts in pastel colors and wandering around the mall, you’ll like it. If it is acceptable to you that you can buy Star Wars Lego toys at Newbury Comics then sure, gobble up all the October Accord you can. Do you remember Alice Cooper’s Teenage Lament ’74? “What a drag it is, these gold lame jeans/ Is this the coolest way to get through your teens?” Well, this is October Accord’s Teenage Lament ’15. Of course I hate it, I’m 46. But maybe you’re not. Well, statistically, given this zine’s readership, you’re probably at least that, but who knows. If you are under 22 years old, and white, and suburban, and middle-class, and if you’ve never heard of Bloody Mess, Discharge, or Deep Wound but you love Blink 182 and whatever Paramore is (they reference it in their bio), there’s a solid chance you’ll love this record. You’ll still die in a coastal flood in three years, but at least you’ll be hip to October Accord. (Sleazegrinder)
There’s a lot going on in this band. Two lead singers, one male the other female. Two great guitarists that aren’t afraid to play, and a tight and powerful rhythm section. Tom Leger and Maureen Kavanaugh share lead vocals. Tommy and Sean Murray duel on guitars, with Jeff Murray on bass and Reebo Tibbs on drums powering the band. In a strange irony, Sean and Jeff Murray are cousins not brothers. Mo plays guitar also. Tom sings the metal rockers and his significant other sings the mellow rockers and ballads. There’s a bit of country, a bit of metal, and a bit of rock ’n’ roll in their sound. They’ve got Americana ballads: the opener “Take Back,” “For The Last Time,” and “Heart Alone” – country blues: “Strange Days” – mellow rock ’n’ roll: “Roll It” – and metal: “Boone’s Farm,” “Suitcase,” “It’s A Love,” “Lie With You,” “Separate,” and the closer “So Long.” This is a groove band too. The two guitarists play well together and set the mood in the beginning of all the songs and then it’s time to fasten your seat belts when Tommy or Mo start to sing. Mr. Leger was in The Fighting Cocks and Unattached many moons ago too, so you know he’s got the moves. Great stuff from a wild band. (A.J. Wachtel)
Rained Out at the Ruth Gordon Ampitheatre: Los Goutos Live
At its best, this CD recording has a great deal of the good-timey ambiance and vim of the Rounder-and-friends 1975 album Have Moicy! And if you loved that you’ll certainly like this – many of the songs have a charming, joking feel which is practically infectious. All the more impressive is that it is a live recording, warts and all, with room for improvisations like the crooning at the end of the chummy Stewart/Gleason tune “Appropriating the Blues.” Bruce Bartone’s Santana-like dervish guitar melds gloriously with Chris Gleason’s mandolin on the fiddle-slathered showpiece “Tequila Set the House Afire,” showing that the band has a knack for the dramatic, and for consequential guitar solos. The amusing “El Chupacabra” is a folksy narrative sung by the legendary monster himself, with lots of hooting and shouting – and surely a good time was had by all, particularly Jakub Trasak, who delivers a pristine bluegrass fiddle solo. Mike Eigen contributes his introspective clarinet to his own mournful and haunting composition, “Persephone,” which is performed as a juddering dirge, with lots of artsy fiddle. The wanton, jaunty and amusing “Calamine Lotion” is a plaintive song with amusing lyrics replete with hot fiddle playing and persnickety but pastoral mandolin. Chris Gleason’s elegiac “Killing Me Kindly” reminds me of Byrdsy country rock, albeit with ensemble instrumentation, including Stewart’s accordion, a thrilling fiddle run, and Bartone’s liquescent guitar. The accordion also comes into prominent play on Eigen’s “Steal It, Pawn It, Buy Another,” a Latin-flavored delicacy replete with plaintive vocals and eccentric, halting percussion. Stewart’s “Missed Opportunities” is another country-folk tune with an easygoing pace and feel. “Broken” is a jittery, neurotic Warren Zevon-like chantey and a heartfelt manifesto sung and performed with a manic vivacity by composer Paul Stewart. This six-piece ensemble is undeniably talented and deserves to become cult favorites among the folksy set. (Francis DiMenno)
Krankshaft (and other stuff)
“The Monster Song” starts things off and it looks like I’ve found Kraftwork in a Halloween disguise. As I dance on, the costume comes off but the mechanical beats and synth bass lines continue their staccato rhythms. The voice is what keeps your guessing… in “Puppy” it’s deep, dark and foreign. In “Remain” it’s almost priestly – reminding me a bit of another local musical physician—Dr. X. “Krankshaft” drives a persistent beat and synth bass with the title repetitively spoken for the chorus. “Black Rose (instrumental version)” adds a simple grand piano line to the thumps creating a beat-driven trance. The mellow voice in “Remember” sounds like it could be Brian Eno fronting A Flock of Seagulls. Plucked synth cello strings form a nice rhythmic base for a violin melody in “Noctum,” where a subtle wall of strings quietly lay a sustained base that floats below the solo. “Turn (instrumental version)” closes the album with a insistent bass drum beat that would keep dancers moving at a disco. Again a sweet reverby violin supplies the lead line, dancing around like a classical musician breaking a sweat. If you’re a fan of Kraftwork, or just need some music to keep your blood circulating and hips gyrating, Dr. DK can write your prescription. (T Max)
When It All Turns Black
Boston’s Vat surprised me with this self described “sludge rock” record. With titles like “Torture Chamber,” Cult of the Dark,” “Carry the Cross,” and “Scorpio Woman,” I expected more of a straight up metal band. What I got instead was kind of a 21st century Venom album with guitar leads straight out of Guided By Voices or Helios Creed. I would call Vat thinking man’s metal, like Voi Vod, but I don’t want to limit their potential audience. Someone finally combined the musical equivalent of chocolate and peanut butter (Black Sabbath and Black Flag) and made hard rock sonic Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. This album is so good it melts your ears, not in your hands. Death to false chocolate! (Eric Baylies)
THE SECULAR VOICES OF HEAVEN’S HORIZON
The Future of Christmas
I was given this CD because I’m known for liking things off the beaten path, and I flat-out loved these goofball smartasses, who have written 12 new Christmas songs that mock the kitchen sink, yet, remarkably, these songs are potential future classics, up there with “Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer” or “Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer.” I kid you not. The lyrics aren’t just clever; the songs are irresistibly catchy, with great hooks and vocal melodies. Much of it is beautiful and melancholic. My only gripe would be the sloppiness of the vocals – I can’t always tell what the singers are singing – but their tag claims they were called “the alcoholic Manhattan Transfer” by Rolling Stone (which I’m going to guess is baloney), so the shabbiness seems deliberate. Clever move: the CD includes a lyric sheet as well as the 12 tracks as instrumentals, so you and your friends can use them for caroling if you choose! Warning: if you’re politically correct, avoid this group at all costs. The songs are quite smart, but perhaps too fearless, from “Asian Snow Man” (about what kids make with the yellow snow!), to “Christmas Is Illegal!” (where they make a compelling argument that you can’t have any religious holidays due to the separation of church and state). I find most parody acts to be unfortunately juvenile, but this act does it with aplomb, from the Neville Brothers (?) send up “One More Sip” (about needing to be intoxicated to visit the relatives) (which also may feature the world’s first glass-of-brandy solo, if you can believe it), to the Andrew Lloyd Weber (?) piss-take, “A Diamond Someday” (about a dumb orphan who gets a lump of coal and mistakenly thinks it will become a diamond someday!) (“This song is about the limits of optimism” reads the liner notes. Hilarious.) There’s not a drop of filler on this record. “Clean Your Chimney!” is Bing Crosby-esque and tells kids to get in there with a scrub brush and soap (!), while “No One Got Christ SHIT For Christmas” reminds all the selfish children (and adults) that it’s HIS birthday, and does it to a Springsteen (?)/ 1980s sound. (The liner notes call it their “punk rock” song.) It’s quite impressive how even their cheapest shots pay off, like in “It’s A St-St-Stuttering Christmas”: “Everyone st-st-stutters at Christmas/ m-m-mostly c-cuz it’s c-c-cold/ and even S-Santa st-stutters/ when he bellows ‘HO-HO-HO’!” I can’t recommend this record enough. The album was recorded in New Hampshire, but it’s unclear exactly where they are based. I pray (despite my atheism) they play Boston this holiday season! (Shauna Erlbaum)
MARTY NESTOR & THE BLACKJACKS
Live At The Bull Run
This Pepperell, MA, singer/songwriter is a country folkie with an acoustic guitar, great voice and tunes, and a solid backing band. I always love live releases cause they really show a band’s heart and soul and not just the studio hijinks. Even I can sound like Paul McCartney in a studio with a good engineer, ya know? Marty strums and fingerpicks and his vocals sound a bit like Tom Waits meets Dylan meets Billy Joel. Tom Waits because he has a good, very passionate and raspy voice, Dylan because his compositions are influenced by the master, and Billy Joel because his expressive vocals really tell a good story. Nestor countrifies two covers, “Dead Flowers” by The Stones, and “Mystery Train” by Junior Parker, and I really dig Marty’s own country blues ballads “Little Lady Lowdown,” “The Rain Came,” and “Saint of The Highway.” Marty, who sings lead vocals, plays acoustic guitar and harmonica, is backed by Carl Johnson with nice twangy lead guitar licks, Jeff Root on bass, and Lloyd Iisley pounding. Carl and Jeff also add their backing vocals to the mix. The crowd seems to really dig their performance and so do I. (A.J. Wachtel)
Steps That Remain
“A New Game” begins muffled and vague, replete with all sorts of sonic tricks and gew-gaws – distorted, watery guitar; squeaky, cascading background noises; nonsensical guitar runs. Interesting, if not particularly impressive. Their cover of the Weakerthans’ “Reconstruction Site,” is a loping recitative with philosophical and sentimental lyrics. The cover of Jenny Lewis’ “Acid Tongue,” with vocals by Heidi, is lovely and melancholy. “Will You Wait for Me in Baltimore” is a woozy love song with a sweet guitar solo grounding it, somehow, to some earthly plane. “Slow Learner,” the best of show, is a genuine surprise – a salsa-tinged number with a strong guitar line by Ken Klucznik, which is well-grounded by Mike Stefanowicz’s deterministic and well-nigh perfect bass part. “Long Way From Mexico” lays on the studio effects at the outset, then devolves into an easygoing ballad that, for all its affectless vocals, wouldn’t be out of place on a soft-rock radio program. It’s difficult to judge on the basis of four originals, but this seems like a young band that wears its influences on its sleeve, has yet to find a consistent voice, but may someday evolve into a praiseworthy unit. (Francis DiMenno)
I fell in love with Guerrilla Toss after hearing a live performance somewhere that I can no longer remember. Their disco punk sound was equal parts totally modern and craftily nostalgic. Unfortunately they were never able to translate the joyousness of the disco side of their formula onto record. In the studio they favored dissonant free-jazz electro-noise.
I am happy to report that Guerrilla Toss discovered how to capture their live sound on record with the release of Flood Dosed. The 17-minute EP captures everything there is to love about this band.
If you crossed Devo with the Psychedelic Furs and brought in Sleigh Bells’ Alexis Krauss on vocals you would find an approximation of Guerrilla Toss.
“Realistic Rabbit” layers eighties-style synths on top of driving drums, popping bass, and crazy sax.
“Ritual in Light” sounds like a noisy B-52s track crossbred with Morphine and run through an electro-jazz blender.
“Polly’s Crystal” stretches out into a 7-minute alterna-psych atmospheric journey that would make Echo and the Bunnymen and the Cure proud.
Bring on the full-length. 17 minutes is not enough! (George Dow)
Not a style of music that I typically gravitate toward. Classified as rock, it sounds more like ambient, easy listening. The production is great. Andrew Martin is talented – adeptly playing guitar, bass, piano, synth, and percussion.
That’s why I really wanted to like this CD, however, I just couldn’t connect with it. Moreover, all five songs sounded so much alike, that they seemingly blurred into one long song. Nothing struck me. If music had colors, this would sound “beige” to my ears. Hopefully, he will in time, find a niche that allows his skills to truly shine through. This just didn’t do that. (R.J. Ouellette)
Boston’s Feral Jenny is the dreamchild of guitar player and singer Jenny Mudarri. The album is a bit brief but packs a wallop in a very catchy garage kind of way. It reminds me of two acts from 30 years ago or so, What Now, and the Three O’Clock, but with kind of a Robin Lane & the Chartbusters swagger to it. This started as a solo project but has turned into a full band, and I’m really looking forward to hearing these songs live. (Eric Baylies)
Life In A Cold Frame
This album definitely has a unique sound. Throughout the nine tracks, I hear quite a range of influences. It has an ’80s synth feel, with its dancey drums and synths, and then the vocals have a Les Claypool/ B-52s sound to them. I really like Masashi Nakamura’s guitar work – the leads don’t just follow Wayne William’s bass lines or Bushinsky’s keyboard, they add a great element to the album. The musicianship all around is very good. The only thing that loses me a little bit is the vocals. They aren’t bad, but a little too reminiscent of Les Claypool and B-52s style of monotone talking/ singing. Nevertheless, this is a good album with cool ideas. If you are a fan of anything synth-y or slightly progressive, then definitely check it out! (Tom Barvick)
ILANA KATZ KATZ
I’ve Got Something To Tell You
This is a really cool release. A blues and Appalachian old time fiddle CD. Sorta like going to a hoe-down in the South side of Chicago. Influenced by early fiddle laced records of Big Bill Broozy, Katz’ music is a nice mix of country blues and traditional blues. Sorta like if Papa John Creach fronted a killer blues ensemble and they played at the Grand Ole Opry. Check out her stunning band – Ronnie Earl on guitar, Diane Blue on vocals, Marylou Ferrante on vocals, guitar and banjo, Dotty Moore on fiddle, and Jesse Williams on bass. There are no drums. You might have seen Ilana playing in subway stations around Boston. Her chops are imaginative and she plays with a lot of emotion and passion. No joke, she really fiddles around! And nobody plays like Ronnie Earl. My favorite cuts are the country blues “Marilyn’s Blues,” “Cruel Willie’s Blues” with Marylou Ferrante on guitar, “PB Cracker Blues (For Ronnie Earl),” two melodies she wrote herself, and the more traditional “She’s Long She’s Tall (She Weeps Like A Willow Tree”) by John Lee Hooker, “Take A Little Walk With Me” by Robert Lockwood with Diane Blue wailing on vocals, and a song she wrote, “Runnin’ In Peace” about her experience being next door to the Marathon bombing. Ronnie also covers this great song on his Good News CD. The two Memphis Millie tracks, “Ain’t Nothin’ In Ramblin’ ” and “Frisco Town” are also killer. I really love this blues and old time fiddle release and you will too. (A.J. Wachtel)
DEVIL ON HORSEBACK
Rule the Deep
It feels a lot like the mid-eighties when I listen to Devil on Horseback’s Rule the Deep EP, I fondly reminisce about those years when heavy metal was transitioning from the classic Black Sabbath/Iron Maiden power metal formula to the chunky, chugging riffs of Metallica and Megadeth. It was a beautiful chapter in the history of metal and it is refreshing to hear it revisited by Devil on Horseback.
Their dual guitar attack brings to mind the classic K. K. Downing/Glenn Tipton Judas Priest combo. Stacking lead guitars slightly out of phase always brings a smile. The rhythm section plays in a deep, dark pocket in a style reminiscent of nineties metal bands – bringing the retro sound forward into the 21st century. Singer Eric Waxwood casts away the gravely shouts favored by today’s popular metal in favor of a high and mighty vocal style which is a breath of fresh air for ears that have been pummeled with Cookie Monster growls for far too long. (George Dow)
THE HAMMOND GROUP
We don’t really live in a world that can accommodate The Hammond Group, so the choices are either create one or just reject Futursize completely. Here’s what you need to know to make an informed choice: they play fun, goofy surf/ garage rock/ power pop with songs about how Somerville girls are hotter than Cambridge girls and hassles at the 1369 coffee shop. Basically, The Hammond Group wants you to get tipsy and have a good night out and dance to wobbly rock ’n’ roll that went out of fashion in 1982. But can you live up to that? Can you stay up past midnight and slither around Central Square? Would you actually pay to stand in a room as disgusting as the Cantab basement or the Midway? Do you even know how to dance to surf rock? I know, probably not, but honestly, I think it’s worth a shot. Seems like the world would be better with them in it. (Sleazegrinder)
Wow! This is refreshing. A Cranston, RI, band that plays an Afro-Cuban Flamenco style. “Quero Cantar” gets us tapping with its friendly harmonious refrain, “I just want to sing a song for you.” Cool speedy hand claps at one point add a nice little bridge. Next is a catchy insistent guitar riff in “Zapateo,” my favorite song on this EP. Percussion and bass joins in, making everything bounce. The message is all about moving forward – “Here we are/ We’re movin’ to another day/ Forget about yesterday/ This is the day/ There are no more clichés.” It feels like a party with all the musicians celebrating. When the trumpets come in I just want to do a Mexican hat dance. Track 3, “Toma Mi Mano,” is totally in Spanish – and it jumps with a lot of percussion. “Balle En La Calle” is a little more suave in its presentation with crowd sounds from a party. I love the trumpet again – I can imagine being at a post-bullfight party – though the lyrics are more about a desire to dance with that special someone. “Waiting” incorporates a little call and response gang vocals. Again, the music is all about getting those hips rotating. More cool hand clap percussion, a trumpet solo, and a nifty Spanish-type guitar solo. I wish The Noise received more CDs like this one. This collection of songs can shoot adrenaline into anyone’s party. (T Max)
Crow on Ten Records
This Vermont-based band plays Southern rock. Their cool sound is sorta like Jackson Browne meets Alabama meets Skynyrd and they’ve got all the bases of their contemporary outlaw country/gritty Southern rock sound covered. Vocals with attitude, high octane songs, and subtle blues/indie rock/metal and punk influences. This is a good band that are all on the same page and that makes the difference. Listen to “On A Wire,” “Tally-Ho,” “Shakin’,” “In Your Mind,” and “Days Remain the Same.” All are first rate tunes with a powerful chugging beat that gets to me immediately. Even the ballads, “Until It All Ends” and the closer “Demons,” are sweet and ominously powerful. Noah Crowther on bass/vocals, Kelly Ravine and the Rev. Chad Hammaker on guitars and vocals, and brother Justin Crowther pounding and playing harmonica jell well together. Perfectl music for racing down the highway at full volume. Check them out. (A.J. Wachtel)
Murky hard rock, mostly. Staccato lyrics. Lots of flash guitar on opening track, “Electric Chair.” “Crawl Back Home” does have a smoking guitar riff going for it, and the churning “Red Spell” does show off another, more introspective prog side to the band. “My One and Only” is a faltering, Springsteen-like outing, but “Take My Soul” is a largely successful stab at working up a smoky blues ambiance. “Black Dragon” is a real anthemic rave-up, and best of show–seemingly fueled by nitroglycerine and testosterone in equal parts, replete with a psychedelic middle eight. “Not Today” is an epic concoction full of world-weariness and ennui–existential metal?–and betrays a spark of divine madness, alternatingly halting and aggressive. The concise “Payin’ My Dues” is another staccato pronunciato with plenty of the old hard rock attitude and aggression. “Cruel World” rounds off the proceedings with some warhorse old style bluesy heavy metal, replete with a sputtery guitar-driven middle eight and a spattery and utterly bewildering coda. People have been grooving to this sort of thing since the long-gone days of Blue Cheer and the MC5, to say nothing of Black Sabbath and Deep Purple. This is a thoroughly competent outing in its genre, but the (deliberately?) bare-bones production values give the variegated songs an unwanted sonic sameness. (Francis DiMenno)
NEW YORK ELECTRIC PIANO
Buffalo Puppy Records
Black Hole In One
Remember punk/prog rock ’80s band Vasco Da Gama? Now vocalist/keyboardist Pat Daugherty plays jazz with hip hop and rock influences. This is his sixth studio album since the Vasco days and his first in four years And get this: the odd tracks are all instrumentals and the even cuts have Pat’s effects-laden vocals. How’s that for a cool album layout? Three odd track instrumentals “Reboot,” “Wait For It” and “Tribute,” a toms driven melody that really swings, could all be on the soundtrack of the movie Shaft. It’s mood music at its best. The closing cut, “Save the Date,” is guilty of unique syncopation and changing tempos, to say the least. On the even numbered songs it is very noticeable that Pat sings and plays his keyboards together to produce the melodies’ full effect. Sometimes his somber and electric notes and chords scream, “Listen to me!,” as an audio foil to his vocals. Pretty cool. And it works well. The music moves you always. Sorta like Herbie Hancock with a real edge. Pretty cool. (A.J. Wachtel)
Pavlov’s Dogs hail from North Adams, MA. This album is way too short but gives you a good idea where what these guys are up to. Some of the songs swing in a garage rock Lyres kind of feel, others are a bit more psyche like Iron Butterfly or Ultimate Spinach, but there’s always a kind of punk rock danger waiting in the wings. The songs are very fun and tuneful. These guys are very young but already seem to possess an encyclopedic knowledge of rock ’n’ roll. Hail, Hail, Pavlov’s Dogs! (Eric Baylies)
ANTHONY GERACI & THE BOSTON BLUES ALL-STARS
Delta Groove Music Records
Fifty Shades of Blue
There is a ton of great music on this release. Geraci has played and recorded with Muddy Waters, Big Joe Turner, J.B. Hutto, Otis Rush, Hubert Sumlin, Jimmy Rogers, Big Walter Horton, and Big Mama Thornton. He also was an original member of both Sugar Ray & the Bluetones and Ronnie Earl & the Broadcasters. Pretty impressive? Wait, it gets even better. This band features some of the top blues musicians in the Boston area: Sugar Ray Norcia, Darrell Nulisch, Michelle “Evil Gal” Willson, Michael “Mudcat” Ward, Marty Richards (The J. Geils Band), and Neil Gouvin. All the compositions are by Anthony and every measure in every song sounds spontaneous and first rate. I really dig the title cut with Sugar Ray and Michelle sharing stellar vocals and Monster Mike’s screaming leads, “If You Want To Go To Heaven” with “Evil Gal’s” passionate vocals, “Diamond’s And Pearl’s” with Toni Lynn Washington’s teasing voice, the instrumental “In The Quicksand,” sounding like a ’50s Ray Charles cut, and the closing instrumental, “Blues For David Maxwell,” which really showcases Geraci’s impressive talent. He is as good playing rhythm as he is at pounding out leads. And I enjoy that a lot. Darrell’s harp on “The Blues Never Sleeps” and Sugar Ray’s torrid playing on “Your Turn To Cry” are great performances too. How many bands today have two red hot and blue harpists in their fold? How many groups today have two incredible female vocalists contributing? Enough said. A monumental and important bit of local history here, folks. Music that everybody needs to hear. (A.J. Wachtel)
Every time I see a CD with a vaguely punk rock-looking guy with an acoustic guitar I see visions of Billy Bragg and Joe Strummer. I get excited. Most times I end up disappointed. Eric Hourde continues the disappointment streak.
The Album starts strong with a nineties-style, full-band, hardcore anthem – “Artist’s Punk Rock Anthem.” Hard, fast, and reminiscent of Gorilla Biscuits.
Next up, “This Time,” an acoustic electric jam that gets my Billy Bragg antenna humming. Eric plows through with anthemic Dropkick Murphy’s pub-core vocals and Rancid-ish guitar accompaniment – an altogether respectable entry.
Beyond the first two tracks things fall apart entirely. Maybe I’m just getting old but “Me and Your Mom” truly offends. An acoustic story song told to a young boy. The narrator sarcastically describes taking the boy’s mom out for the night, sleeping with her, then waking up the next morning and awkwardly meeting the boy in the living room. The chorus of, “I fucked your mom,” was stomach-turning indeed.
I don’t even know what to make of the rest of the album. I spent my fair share of time in modern Christen churches listening to creepy Christen rock. The rest of the record dives headlong down this strange rabbit hole. I just don’t get it – from “I fucked you mom,” to flutes and bunny rabbits without as much as a palate cleanser. Bards and lutes would not be misplaced on the half dozen strange, nearly unlistenable ballads the close out The Album. (George Dow)