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Local H

Whatever Happened to P.J. Soles?

Studio E

 

"California Songs" with its wise-guy line pleading for an end to them is what The Offspring could have been had they avoided a turn to novelty. "Halcyon Days (Where Were You Then?)" is Radiohead's "Creep" done grunge. "Everyone Alive," is a smooth version of Nirvana, a bad thing if it weren't so damn catchy. And how can you not like a song called "Heavy Metal Bakesale"?

Sure, bands have been doing this for 30 years, and there are a million of them out there. What differentiates this from the herd is the quality of songwriting, putting the right sound in the right place at the right time, building on it with the right drum lick, adding the right howling vocal -- a series of perfect, suburban, white-trash rock moments, finely honed for the Ef Em, that when played in your brother's Nova can't help but induce head wagging.

The plodding, 10-minute-plus stomper "Buffalo Trace" is stuck in the middle, done in the Zeppelin/Sabbath tradition that's closer to Not Fragile-era BTO. On the flip-side is the opener, "Where Are They Now?" which is a minute and 23 seconds of military pounding, wicked riffs and the line, "You're never gonna get it" repeated like a throbbing headache. Call it a guilty pleasure, but this is the one to put on when you just want to rock.


back torevhead.gif (1924 bytes)   Posted Sept. 23, 2004. Copyright 2004 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.



Rating: Yes

Obligatory pull-quote: "...a series of perfect, suburban, white-trash rock moments, finely honed for the Ef Em, that when played in your brother's Nova can't help but induce head wagging."